Nectarines in Syrup

Select firm, fully ripe nectarines evenly-colored, mostly a deep red.

Yield

makes about eight pint jars or four quart jars

Ingredients

8 to 10 pounds nectarines, halved and pitted (do not peel), treated to prevent browning* and drained
1 batch hot light or medium syrup**

Directions

Prepare boiling water canner, jars, and lids. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Prepare syrup. For light syrup, combine 2 1/4 cups granulated (white) sugar and 5 1/4 cups water and for medium syrup, combine 3 1/4 cups granulated (white) sugar and 5 cups water in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until needed, taking care not to boil the syrup down.

Raw-Pack Method: Pack nectarines, cavity side down and overlapping layers, into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot syrup into jar to cover nectarines, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim with clean cloth. Center lid on jar. Screw band (ring) down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 25 minutes and quart jars for 30 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store.

Hot-Pack Method Directions: In a large stainless steel saucepan, one layer at a time, warm nectarines in hot syrup over medium-low heat until heated through, about 1 minutes per layer.

Using a slotted spoon pack hot nectarines, cavity side down and overlapping layers, into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot syrup into jar to cover nectarines, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim with clean cloth. Center lid on jar. Screw band (ring) down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 20 minutes and quart jars for 25 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store.

Additional Information

* To treat nectarines to prevent browning, apply a produce protector according to the manufacturer's instructions or submerge cut nectarines in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water. For more information about treating your fruit to prevent browning see Preventing Discoloration when Canning Fruit.

** For best results when preserving nectarines in syrup, use a light or medium syrup. For information about creating hot syrup see Syrups for Canning.

Peaches (and apricots and nectarines) may be canned in water, apple juice, or white grape juice instead of syrup. Only the hot-pack method can be used.

If you are canning above 1,000 feet sea level, see Canning Altitude Adjustments to find how much additional processing time is needed.

Place a clean towel on your work surface to absorb water from the hot jars as you take them out of the water bath (boiling-water) canner to be filled, and again once the jars are processed. The towel prevents hot jars from coming into contact with cooler countertops. Significant temperature differences can cause jar breakage.

A jar lifter is very helpful for handling hot, wet jars. Because they are bulky and fit loosely, oven mitts — even water-resistant types — are not a wise choice. When filling jars, an all-purpose rubber glove, worn on your helper hand, will allow you to steady the jar.

A clear plastic ruler, kept solely for kitchen use, will help you determine the correct headspace. Each filled jar should be measured accurately, as the headspace can affect sealing and the preservation of the contents.

When preparing jars and lids, prepare a couple extra in case your yield is larger than you expect. If you don't have enough jars, place any leftovers in an airtight container; store in the refrigerator and use within a few weeks.

Before using jars, inspect them carefully for any chips, cracks or fractures. Discard any imperfect jars.

See Canning & Preserving Glossary for a description of terms used in this recipe.

Before canning each season, review canning procedures. See Canning & Preserving Basics to refresh your memory with the procedures.

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