2000s Recipes + Menus

Nectarine Preserves with Basil

Makes7 or 8 (1/2 pint) jars
  • Active time:1 1/2 hr
  • Start to finish:3 hr (plus 1 day for flavors to develop)
July 2001
For more information about this recipe, see our special guide to canning.
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh basil sprigs plus 8 small sprigs for tucking into jars
  • 5 lb nectarines or peaches, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 (1 3/4-oz) box plus 2 tablespoons lower-sugar powdered pectin
  • Equipment

    8 (1/2-pint) canning jars with lids and screw bands; a candy thermometer
  • Bring sugar, lemon juice, water, and 1 cup basil to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Simmer over moderately low heat until thick and syrupy, about 25 minutes. Discard basil with a slotted spoon.
  • Add nectarines to syrup and bring to a rolling boil over moderately high heat, then boil, uncovered, stirring frequently, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer nectarines with slotted spoon to a sieve set over a bowl to catch juice. Drain nectarines 5 minutes, then add juice from bowl to juice in pot.
  • Drain jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel 1 minute, then invert. Divide nectarines among jars with slotted spoon. Tuck a fresh basil sprig into side of each jar.
  • Return juice in pot to a rolling boil, skimming off any foam. Continue to boil until juice registers 220 to 224°F on thermometer, 7 to 10 minutes. Gradually add pectin, whisking constantly. Return juice to a rolling boil, then boil, skimming off any foam, 1 minute.
  • Ladle juice into jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at top, then run a thin knife between fruit and jar to eliminate air bubbles.
  • Seal, process, and store filled jars, boiling preserves in jars 10 minutes.
  • Let preserves stand in jars at least 1 day for flavors to develop.
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