My absolute favourite fruit are nectarines! However, in the winter I have had to do without them & our winters are loooong. This year I had the fantastic idea to can some! I suppose I could have froze them, but frozen fruit in the frozen winter just somehow does not have the same appeal. I am by no means a canning wiz, in fact this is the first time I have ever canned fruit myself (I did get a bit of help from my mom!).
There is a gazillion + 10 pages of canning how-tos online, so I am pretty much leaving most of that basic info out. I started with 2 batches of nectarines, one batch was from the states (the redder ones) & one was a batch of BC nectarines (the yellower ones). I decided to keep them separate just as an experiment.
After cutting up my nectarines, I had 23 of them & for some reason I don't have the weight written down (and I weigh everything?)? I do have written that a single jar contained about 294g (about 10oz). I am not particularly fond of really sweet canned fruit, so I created an extra light syrup by dissolving sugar in water and bringing it to a low boil. After sterilizing the jars in the hot water boiling in the canner, I packed them with the raw fruit & then filled them with the syrup to a little below the top. I had ladled a bit of syrup to a measuring cup for easier pouring but there are funnels that you can get to make it even easier (I have one now). After filling I used a chop stick to poke around in there and push around the fruit to help things settle & get any air bubbles out, if needed I could add another piece of fruit or 2. Then I wiped the rim with a clean paper towel & put on the 2 part lid which had previously been sitting in a small pot of boiling water, a set of plastic tongs made it easy to get the lid parts out.
I reused the empty mason jars from classico pasta sauce, which are about 1.25 pints & because I ran out of those, some smaller 1 pint jars. 23 nectarines ended up filling 6 of the larger jars & 3 of the smaller ones with a little bit of fruit left over! 1 large jar required about 1.5cups of syrup. The jars of fruit looked fantastic!
The next step was letting the jars boil away in the canner for 20min to allow the magic to happen!
After removing the jars from the water they have to sit on the shelf undesturbed for a day or so, just to let everything do its stuff, over this time the lids will pop & you have to keep an eye out to make sure that everything has sealed propperly.
After they boiling, the colouring of the nectarines goes a bit off. The syrup kinda sucks out all the beautiful bright red colouring from the fruit, so they don't look quite so pretty. The yellow BC nectarines kinda ended up losing what little red they had all together.
I am sure however they will still taste fantastic! Seeing as I only have 6 big & 3 little jars to last me the whole winter (& I am sure I will share) I am going to carefully be rationing these things, so I have not tried any yet. I will update when I do!
extra light syrup recipe: 8cups water to 1cup of sugar
Used 23 Large Nectarines (15US & 8BC)
filled 6 large (1.25pint) jars & 3 small (1pint) jars (5largeUS & 1large+3small BC)
Needed 6cups of syrup
(canned on Sept. 14, 2014)
aprox. nutritional info for 1 large jar
contains aprox. 294g of nectarines & 1.5cups of syrup = 264calories