As a kid I would spend hours watching my godfather slice peaches. He would use his pocket knife to make individual cuts, then eat each slice one by one. If I made myself obvious enough he would occasionally tease me then offer me a slice. Years later (2007) during my trip to Central America, I adopted the ways of that wise man and bought myself a pink pocket knife, interesting story in itself… “no i’m not looking for a knife to stab someone”. I bring up this story because while I was waiting for my stuff to arrive after the move to NC, all I had for cutting was my handy pocket knife. After these nectarines arrived, an entire week went by as I was cutting nectarines, onions, and other fresh fruit and veggies without any kitchen utensils. Thanks to a video tutorial from Mr. Texas I even learned how to open a can with a pocket knife… yes, I almost lost a finger.
So nectarines… this was actually my first time working with nectarines for the blog. I’ve always been quite partial to peaches over other stone fruit as I felt they offered the most juiciness per fruit. Alas, the people over at Washington State Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation surprised me again. Brainstorming with flavors I thought, “what would go nicely on a salad with nectarines?” First I was thinking marmalade, then I opted for grapefruit juice preserves. Grapefruit and mint (?), awesome. Inspiration for this recipe came from the Local Kitchen blog, with an easy adaptation: I swapped out the watermelon for grapefruit juice. The result: sweet and tart, deep orange in color nectarine, grapefruit, and mint preserves. Tasty, simple, and perfect for your summer morning toast. 🙂
- 3 lbs nectarines, rinsed, pitted and sliced to 1/8-inch
- 3 cups of fresh grapefruit juice (about three 3 grapefruits)
- zest & juice of 2 medium lemons
- 3 cups sugar
- 4 to 5 sprigs fresh mint
- In a large bowl, combine lemon zest & juice, sliced nectarines, grapefruit juice, sugar, and mint. Toss to mix and dissolve sugar. Bury mint and nectarine slices under the juice; keep submerged with a small plate or other weight. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 5 days.
- Strain fruit juice into a large, wide preserving pan- reserve fruit. Over high heat bring juice to a boil, without stirring. Retrieve mint from the strained fruit; discard mint stems. Continue to cook nectarine-grapefruit juice until it reaches the set point (20–30 minutes). When juice has reached the set point, add strained nectarine slices, along with any additional, drained juice. Return to a boil while cooking over high heat (about 10 minutes).
- Remove from heat and ladle hot preserves into hot jars leaving approx. 1/4-inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner, let set on folded towel for 12-24 hours. Remove rings, store in a cool dry place for up to a year.