Nectarine & Basil Preserves
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 cups basil springs plus 1 extra small bunch for each jar
5 pounds nectarines, peeled, pitted, and cut into eighths
1 box plus 2 tablespoons low-sugar powdered pectin
(prepare 7 or 8 jars for canning if you're not going to consume the entire pot on a baguette within 48 hours)
Combine sugar, lemon juice, and 2 cups basil in large stockpot and bring to boil. Stir to disolve sugar, then reduce heat and simmer until very thick. No molasses thick, but certainly thicker than yogurt. Strain out the basil leaves. Drain nectarines in a sieve over a bowl to catch the juice.
Return the juice to the stockpot and boil, about
10 minutes. Whisk in the pectin. Return to boil for 1 minue then remove from heat.
Divide the nectarine segments evenly among the jars and tuck basil sprigs into each. Fill the rest of the jars with juice, and be sure that any jars you plan to process are filled to within 1/4 inch of the brim. Run a knife around the inside of each jar to release any air bubbles.
Process jars for 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
*I have not included the full instructions to process the jars as it is fairly standard, but if you would like instructions or tips on processing, let me know.
Pairs Well With
This recipe was originally from Gourmet, but I found that upping the basil and lemon juice ratios was a welcome adjustment (the breakdowns below are with my additions). The sweetness of the nectarines and the freshness of the basil is a wonderful combination...so delicious that it was painful to give a few jars away!
*Plums might be an interesting substitution