This is an easy recipe for a delicious tangy Nectarine Jam that is a great way to use any small or damaged fruit.
My dwarf nectarine tree is a few years old now and starting to produce quite a large number of fruit. The only trouble is that the fruit are all clustered together and tucked up underneath the long drooping leaves so that unless you have a good look up close you can’t tell that there are any fruit at all. Last year I netted each of the branches but unfortunately nearly all of the fruit rotted so this year I was reluctant to put any netting on until they were almost ripe. This was signalled by a flock of sparrows descending on the tree in noisy delight. I was determined to salvage as much fruit as I possibly could and (relying on the fruit ripening up once I’d picked them) picked almost all of them at once.
The recipe is best made with ripe golden nectarine flesh. A good portion of my fruit had been pecked (why do birds always take just one peck out of each fruit rather than sharing nicely?!) or had rubbing or other damage so I had a delicate balancing act between having them ripen enough but not loosing too many to rots.
1kg Nectarine flesh (you will need approx 1.6-1.7kg nectarines depending on their size)
1kg Jam Setting Sugar
Remove any damaged parts and peel the nectarines. Remove the stones and chop the flesh into a very fine pieces (or use a food processor or stick blender). Blending reduces the impact on overall taste of any flesh that is not quite ripe. You should have 1kg of fruit flesh.
Place the fruit and jam setting sugar into a preserving pan. Heat fruit and sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. I blitzed it using a stick blender at this point.
Add the butter and bring the mixture to a rapid boil that stirring doesn’t stop. Boil for 4 minutes, carefully skimming off any foam that forms on the surface during cooking.
Turn off the heat then test that the jam has reached setting point by spooning a small amount of jam onto a cold plate. Allow to cool slightly, then draw your finger through the jam. If the surface wrinkles, then it is ready. If it doesn’t wrinkle then boil the jam for a further 2 minutes, remove from heat and test again.
Pour jam into hot sterilised jars and seal.