Chef Carole Greenwood uses white wine instead of water to make the syrup for these nectarines. One jar is the perfect amount to make a pie in the winter, when good nectarines are a distant memory. Err on the side of abundance when making the syrup to ensure you'll have enough. What is left over can be reduced and used as a sauce for something else.
Servings: 4 quarts
- 10 cups dry white wine
- 10 cups sugar
- 2 vanilla beans
- 20 large nectarines, pitted and halved
To prepare for canning: Wash 4 quart jars, their new lids and bands in hot, soapy water (180 degrees); rinse well. Dry the bands; set aside. Sterilize the jars by boiling for 10 minutes. Heat the lids and bands in a saucepan of hot water, keeping them hot until ready to use. Do not boil the lids.
Fill the canner halfway with water. Preheat the water (140 degrees for raw-packed foods, 180 degrees for hot-packed foods) over medium heat.
For the nectarines: Combine the wine and sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise, scrape the seeds from them and add them to the saucepan, along with the scraped beans. Bring the syrup to a boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the nectarines to the syrup and turn off the heat.
Fill each sterilized, still hot, quart-size jar with the fruit, syrup and a vanilla bean half, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. The syrup should cover the solids completely. Use a nonreactive spatula or chopsticks to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims and necks of the jars with a clean, damp cloth. Center a heated lid on each of the jars. Screw the bands on evenly and loosely until a point of resistance is met (fingertip tight). Load the filled jars, fitted with lids, into the canner rack and use the handles to lower the rack into the water; or fill the canner, 1 jar at a time, with a jar lifter. Increase the heat to high until the water boils vigorously. Cover with the canner lid. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Add hot water as needed to keep the water level at least 1 inch above the jars. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle boil.
When the processing is complete, transfer the jars from the canner to sit upright on a clean dish towel to cool; do not retighten the bands. Let the jars cool on the towel for 12 to 24 hours.
When the jars are cool, test for a good seal by pressing the center of each lid. If the lid does not flex up and down, it is sealed. Label and store the jars in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.
From chef Carole Greenwood.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
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