Make two jars of my delicious nectarine jam from 4 fruit! This small batch nectarine jam bursts with flavour; it’s quick and easy to make with no need for preserving pans or specialist equipment. No added pectin and of course vegan!
I love the summer, particularly when delicious and juicy peaches and nectarines are available; they among my favourite fruits. I far prefer sun ripened, seasonal European fruit to that flown in from the Southern hemisphere over the winter, as I find the latter flavourless and with unimpressive food miles.
However, this jam is the perfect way to really enjoy the taste of nectarines over the rest of the year; you never need to go without again. I say jam, although technically I’m making a conserve, as the fruit is macerated in sugar first rather than having the sugar added after the fruit has been cooked down.
How to Make Nectarine Jam Using the Conserve Method
First cut up the fruit and remove the stones. This does take a moment, but the big advantage of making small batches of jam is that I don’t spend all afternoon cutting nectarines – we’re only using about 4 large nectarines in this recipe.
Second mix the sugar and lemon juice into the fruit, and leave it let the sugar to draw out the juice. If you can, leave it overnight, but at least an hour is required. In the morning, you’ll see plenty of juice, ready for the next stage.
Third The sugar needs to dissolve, so pour the mixture into a good sized saucepan – you need plenty of room to boil it, but you don’t need a massive preserving pan – and heat it gently until all the sugar has dissolved. Once this has happens – it only take 5 minutes or so the jam is ready to boiled so that it sets.
Fourth, boil the jam until it reaches a setting point. This is the only tricky bit of making jam: checking it’s got hot enough to set, so that when cool, it will be jam rather than liquid. There are several ways of doing this. Read our detailed notes on jam setting points on our blackberry and apply jelly recipe.
- First is by temperature; carefully checking the mixture with an accurate electronic thermometer. The liquid should reach 105°C/221°.
- Second, the traditional test using a chilled plate. Place a side plate in the freezer. Once the jam is boiling, start testing by placing some jam on the plate and let it to cool. When you push your finger through, it’s reached setting point when you see a wrinkle up ahead of your finger. This technique takes a bit of practice.
- Third, you can test for setting by checking the way that the jam runs off a spoon. Take a spoonful from the pan and turn it vertically to tip out the jam. If it runs off, it hasn’t set. If, however a little remains on the spoon in a sort of wide drip that doesn’t fall, then the jam is ready.
Again, this works best with some practice, but the advantage of small batch jam is that by making little and often, you tune your senses as to when the jam is done and will be able to see when it is ready by its appearance when it is boiling.
Finally, let the jam cool for about ten minutes, then spoon the jam into jars that have been thoroughly washed, and heated in the oven to sterilize. Seal the lids while the jam is still hot.
Why do I make small batch jam?
6 great reasons to make small batch jam.
- Time. Small batch jam quantities take much less time to cook and set. A couple of pots of jam can be made while cooking supper.
- Simplicity. You don’t need a large preserving pan. A good sized standard saucepan will do.
- Flavour. You can choose the best, freshest fruit and make amazingly flavourful jam. The speed of cooking also helps give best results – no boiling away the flavour.
- Storage. You don’t need storage space for a rackful of jam jars. Just enough shelf space for a couple.
- Experiment! If you’re only making a small batch, you can afford to experiment with flavour combinations. If your experiment doesn’t work, well, it’s no great loss. By making less you get to make more batches of jam! I once made so many preserves I had to have a 8 year break whilst I ate them all!
- Finally, because it’s fun and you will impress your friends by gifting them jars of small batch jam!
So here’s the perfect place to start your small batch jam-making.
Of course this does not need to be a small batch – simply scale it up to make more – but the cooking time will be longer!
As usual here are the are the ingredient ratios for the jam so you can scale it up and down.
- Two big fat fruit makes a medium (250ml jar of jam), if using the bargain punnets from the supermarket where the fruit is smaller you will probably need 3 nectarines per jar.
- The weight of the sugar needs to be about 80% (4/5) that of the fruit (so a 4:5 sugar: fruit ratio).
- Add 1 tbs of lemon juice per 4 large fruit (or 5 smaller nectarines), or a scant teaspoon per fruit.
Serve your nectarine jam on toast, crumpets, or stir a spoonful into a bowl of plain yogurt for a quick and easy midweek pudding.
Small Batch Nectarine Jam - Conserve Method
- 4 large ripe nectarines (about 440 g)
- 360 g granulated white sugar
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- The sugar is 80% weight of fruit (about 4 large nectarines)
- Cut up and remove the stones from the nectarines and place in a bowl. Cover with the sugar, add the lemon juice, stir, Cover. Leave overnight
- Pour into a medium saucepan – gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Lightly mash with a potato masher to break the fruit up.
- Place jam jars and lids in the oven at 135°C/Gas mark 1
- Bring to a rolling, but not rapid boil until setting point is reached. 105°C or spoon from the freezer sets and wrinkles on the top when poked.
- Allow to stand for a few minutes. Pour into hot jars – seal and allow to cool.
- This recipe is 4 Weight Watchers Smart points per portion
Another delicious jam recipe is my Easy Plum Jam; like the nectarine jam, it’s a small batch recipe.