Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nectarine Freezer Jam (With Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean) (Two Recipes)

I've been obsessed with making my own freezer jams lately.  About a month ago, I made a batch of strawberry and later that same day, I tried strawberry-nectarine.  Well, the nectarines I've had this last summer were sooo good; I wanted to preserve some of that flavor.  I made this a few weeks ago- we're still getting nectarines, but they're not as good as they were at the beginning of September, when I made this.  If you are still getting good ones, I encourage you to make this!  You don't even have to peel them- it's very quick to put together.  The recipe I used included a bit of cinnamon, and I added the insides from one vanilla bean, as well, to get those yummy little vanilla-bean specks.  This smells like warm peach or nectarine crisp with vanilla ice cream.... it is so good!

The bread product in these pictures is the Portuguese version of English muffins.... Bolo Levedo.  They are very good- way bigger than our English muffins too.  Here's a beautiful picture I found on Flickr.  I love them.
Like most freezer jam recipes, don't reduce the sugar here..... it's a lot of sugar, but it is needed for the jam to set up properly and be preserved properly.  You can find reduced-sugar pectin, but I can't really get that here (and the recipe would be different).  I just used the regular (yellow box) Sure Jell full-sugar pectin.  They also make a lower-sugar pectin in a pink box.  This link has a few different types; this recipe uses the one at the top.  Don't try to make this recipe with a different type of pectin because I'm not sure it will work. 

Note:  September 2012 I tried the recipe from the box of Sure Jell Pectin; it actually is the recipe for peach jam (but I used nectarines) and includes a little more fruit and less sugar than the first recipe listed here on this post.  It turned out just as good and looked the same; I still added cinnamon and vanilla bean to it.  I will post that recipe below my original one, below. 
Nectarine Freezer Jam (With Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean)

2 1/4 cups finely chopped or lightly pureed nectarines (about 2 lb.)
5 cups sugar
1 tsp. fresh grated lemon peel, optional
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
1 (1 3/4 oz.) box powdered pectin (Like Sure-Jell yellow box)
3/4 cup water

1.  In large bowl, mix nectarines, sugar, optional lemon peel, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla bean seeds; let stand 10 minutes.

2.  In small saucepan, stir pectin and water over medium heat until mixture boils; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir into nectarine mixture; stir 3 minutes.

4.  Ladle into plastic freezer containers or hot sterilized jars. Cover tightly. Let stand at room temperature until set; may take up to 24 hours. Store in freezer for one year or in the fridge for about 3 weeks.  Makes about 3 pints.

Recipe 2: Nectarine Freezer Jam with Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean
adapted from KraftRecipes

3 cups prepared fruit (about 2 lb. fully ripe nectarines)

4-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
one vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used roasted cinnamon)

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup water

1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
1.  RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. 
2.  SLICE and pit nectarines. Finely chop or grind fruit. Measure exactly 3 cups prepared nectarines into large bowl. Add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla beans and cinnamon; mix well. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.
3.  MIX water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 min. Add to nectarine mixture; stir 3 min. or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.) 
4.  FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

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