This nectarine conserve features thin slices of whole lemon, plump golden raisins, and toasted walnuts. Add it to your next cheeseboard!
I firmly believe that conserves are poised for a resurgence in popularity. Much like how old fashioned names are all the rage with today’s parents, conserves represent a bygone age of preserving that is ripe for renewal. Truly, their time has come!
For those of you not in the know, conserves are typically defined as a soft set jam, with the addition of dried fruit, citrus peel, or nuts. They are good alongside various cheeses, they can enhance cold roast chicken, and they’re delicious stirred into bowls of oatmeal or other warm grain cereals.
This particular nectarine conserve was made with some of the fruit that the nice folks from the Washington State Fruit Commission sent me back in August. I realize that waiting this long to share this recipe puts us at the outer edge of nectarine season, but I did spot some at my local farmers market last weekend, so there are still a few to be had (in a pinch, frozen peaches would also work here).
Like so many of my recipes, this nectarine conserve uses as little sugar as seems reasonable, and tries to be as no-nonsense as possible. I left it relatively unspiced, but next time around, I might add a little freshly grated ginger, or a teaspoon of cinnamon. You can, of course, spice it to your heart’s content.
Finally, if stonefruit is well and truly gone in your area, consider making this very same recipe with just-ripe pears. The finished preserve won’t have the same vibrancy of color, but will still be quite tasty.
Nectarine Conserve with Lemon, Raisins and Walnuts
- 4 pounds yellow nectarines
- 2 lemons organic, if you can find them
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
- 1 cup walnuts toasted and roughly chopped
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 8 half pint jars.
- Cut the nectarines into thin slices and place in a large, non-reactive pot.
- Wash the lemons with warm, soapy water. Cut them in half and cut the halves into paper-thin half moons (poking out seeds as you slice). Add the lemon slices to the pot.
- Add the sugar to the nectarines and lemons and stir to combine. Let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit is juicy.
- Stir in the raisins and the lemon juice and set the pot on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-high.
- Cook, stirring regularly, until the conserve has thickened and reduced by about a third.
- Near the end of cooking, stir in the walnuts.
- When you're happy with the consistency of the conserve, remove the pot from the heat.
- Funnel the conserve into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
The nectarine conserve sounds so tasty, I’m ready to go to the market and get some nectarines and then I’m going to make the conserve. I might make it with the pears, too as I have pears sitting on my counter. Keep the good recipes coming.
Wow, looks really good…i will buy nectarine this weekend, froze them and maybe do this conserve next month…That’s my plan actually. there is so much stuff i want to make, but the time is not here for now. Doing jams and other things with frozen fruits and vegetables works as well than with the fresh stuff.
i have to say – much respect for your knife skills! love the photo of the nectarine rosette. 🙂 tucking this recipe away for next year; we lost all our local stone fruit to unseasonably warm weather in february, followed by a cold snap.
Would agave work in place of sugar?
I’ve not tested it with agave, so I can’t speak from experience. But I imagine it would work well enough.
Just found your website while I was looking for something to do with nectarines. This turned out amazingly! Looking forward to trying many more of your recipes 🙂 I’m hooked on canning and I love how accessible you’ve made it for first timers like me.
Mmmm…. looks and sounds so good. Indeed, nectarines – haven’t seen them here recently, but have found some tail-end peaches of the season to freeze. I think I will add this to my list to make, as it does sound really, really good for maybe adding on top of (dairy free, homemade) ice “cream” for now. And oatmeal for fall, which is around the corner. Just looks so beautiful!
I’ve never made a conserve; the last time I even thought about something like this was when my Grandma was alive. I haven’t seen nectarines in the market for awhile, but there are a few good peaches still available, so I made this recipe last night with peaches. I was in a hurry this morning and just put it on some 7-grain toast. This recipe tastes really good! Now I’m thinking up all the other things I could do with it. Thanks Marisa!
I am so glad you like it!
I followed your recipe and when I opened my jar- after the water bath- it looked like mold on top of my conserve. It doesn’t smell like mold and the only thing I can think of is maybe the walnut.. has that happened to you before. My kitchen was spotless and the jars were sterilized.
That’s very strange. If you did the water bath process properly, there shouldn’t have been any way for mold to appear.