Nectarine Elderflower Jam
Hello my friends! I’m thrilled to be sharing my Nectarine Elderflower Jam recipe with you today.
“…jam on a winter’s morning took away the blue devils. It was like tasting summer.”
Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
I know I say it every year, as does everyone else whose world is inextricably tied to the start and end of school, but “Wow, this summer has flown by!” The confluence of a high school graduation, a graduation party, a 3 week trip to Europe, and packing and taking my daughter to college made this summer feel like it lasted for all of 1 week!
Believe me, I’m not complaining, it has all been wonderful and I wouldn’t change a thing. The only downsides to this busy-ness were the early demise of my garden and the complete abandonment of my annual preserving of the summer’s bounty.
So after we returned from dropping my eldest baby at her home-away-from-home-for-the-next-four-years, I decided that canning some jams would be a good way to keep me busy and occupied in my suddenly quieter and slightly emptier home.
A Savory Onion Jam and this Nectarine Elderflower Jam were the end-products of my canning flurry. I discovered Elderflower Syrup/Cordial while in Europe, specifically in Prague, where it made a regular appearance in lemonades, as did Ginger Syrup and Cucumber Slices. Elderflower Syrup/Cordial has a delightful honey floral taste with a hint of added lemon which I thought would be a great addition to my usual peach or nectarine jam.
If you’re new to canning, jams and jellies are a great place to start. The fruits that are typically made into jams and jellies are high-acid foods, which minimize the risk of food borne illness. It’s when you get into canning low acid foods that you really need to be careful and will most likely want to use a pressure canner.
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There are so many great cookbooks out there that give you not only delicious recipes, but instructions on the canning process in general. Here are some cookbooks that I refer to frequently when canning:
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is, to me, the equivalent of the kitchen bible, The Joy of Cooking. Even though I feel like I’ve memorized many of the recipes that I use frequently, I always open it as a reference. While canning is not difficult, you just can’t wing it (as is my typical modus operandii) and having the specifics in front of me is always helpful. Neither this book, nor the next one, are especially ‘pretty’, but they provide basic and practical canning guidance.
The University of Georgia’s National Center for Home Food Preservation is my go to online source for safe canning and preserving. Their cookbook, So Easy to Preserve is another staple in my library.
Rachel Saunder’s book The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook is beautiful and provides updated riffs on traditional jams, like her Strawberry-Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Rose Geranium. It’s a great book to pass time just looking through and for inspiring your next canning project.
Canning for a New Generation by Lianna Krissoff has a nice balance of traditional recipes (Old-Fashioned Blackberry Jelly) with some more contemporary and unusual recipes like Whole Jalapenos with Honey and Allspice or Indian Hot ‘Lime’ Pickle. The book also features recipes in which you can then use your preserves.
Marisa McClellan’s blog Food in Jars, and her book of the same name, have provided me with endless ideas and guidance. She has always answered my canning questions timely and thoughtfully. I’m anxious to give her mustard recipes a try.
- 6 pounds nectarines, pitted and halved
- 8 cups of sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons Elderflower syrup or cordial
- Cut your nectarine halves into 4 pieces
- Combine with sugar and lemon juice and let macerate for 1-2 days in the refrigerator, stirring from time to time.
- Prepare your canning supplies by making sure your jars, lids and all canning equipment are clean. I always run mine through the dishwasher the day I'm canning even though they are already clean, just to be sure. Once out of the dishwasher, I put my canning stuff on a rimmed cookie sheet, cover it with a towel and place it in the oven just to keep in clean and out of the way.
- When you are done macerating your nectarines, stir the contents well to make sure all the sugar that may have settled at the bottom of the bowl is incorporated.
- Transfer the nectarines and all the liquid to a large preserving pan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes over high heat, stirring frequently.
- Place a sauce with a couple metal spoons in the freezer to use to test the jam later.
- Lower heat and remove the foam that accumulates on the top of your jam with a slotted spoon.
- Mash nectarines with potato masher and return to boiling .
- Cook for 25-45 minutes until jam is thick, stirring frequently.
- Reduce the heat if your jam starts to stick to the bottom of your pan
- Test your jam with a spoon in your freezer to see if it is done, by scooping a small amount jam on a frozen spoon and then returning spoon to freezer for a few minutes. If the jam is thick and wrinkles a wee bit or moves when you push it with your finger, it is done. If it is still thin and you can't push it, return it to the heat for a couple more minutes, using the spoon test to check again.
- When jam is set, stir in elderflower syrup and stir to combine.
- Pour your jam into your sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.
- Process in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- At the end of 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes with the lid of the pot removed
- After 5 minutes, remove the jars and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
- After 1 hour, check to see that all your lids have sealed. If any have not, refrigerate those.
- This recipe assumes a basic knowledge of water bath canning. If you are a new canner, please research the process at the UGA website referenced above or in the Ball book referenced above.
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