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.
- 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.