A couple of weeks ago it was briefly cool enough to venture into the kitchen and do some more preserving…
The colour of this jam is wonderful, and the flavour is fantastic! My first jam using nectarines turned out very well, gelling perfectly and cooking down so that the jam still has some firmer pieces in it, but with the juice of the fruit making a lovely jelly. The lemon verbena is subtle, so I might use more next year.
Nectarine, Apple and Lemon Verbena Jam
- 1kg (2 lbs) prepared fruit – I used 2 apples, cored, peeled and finely chopped, and the rest nectarines, stones removed and chopped into small pieces
- 500g (1 lb) preserving sugar “2:1″ (high pectin content)
- 6 tbsps lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon verbena liqueur (optional)
- 2 sprigs of lemon verbena, about 50 leaves
Put everything into a large preserving pan and leave to macerate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight. Put a plate in the fridge for your gelling test.
Boil up the jam for a good 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash a little with a potato masher when cool enough. (Be careful – hot jam burns!) Then return to the heat and boil for a further 5 minutes. Now you can do your gelling test – drop a little jam onto your cold plate. If it’s ready it should gel within 30 seconds… if not, boil up again for a further 5 minutes, repeat the test… Mine gelled very quickly, as the fruit were not overripe. Remove the lemon verbena sprigs.
Using a funnel, pour into your sterilised jam jars, right to the brim, and seal. I always turn them upside down to create a vacuum. Leave to cool for 12 hours before moving.
This tastes of pure summer, and I shall definitely save a jar for the middle of winter!