Mom’s Nectarines

Every year in mid July the nectarines on our white nectarine tree become ripe, all at once, and we harvest them all within the space of a week. White nectarines and white peaches grown at home are so delicate that they must be eaten within a day of picking, preferably within hours of picking, or they will bruise and spoil. They also don’t cook up well, because their flavor is so delicate and sweet; you need some tartness for a good cooking fruit. So instead, we make up a simple sauce comprised of slices of the fresh fruit, some ascorbic acid to keep the fruit from turning brown, and a little sugar to help the fruit macerate and release some of its juices. For ascorbic acid (also known as Vitamin C) we usually use a handy product called Fruit-Fresh, but you can use lemon juice or ground up Vitamin C. We use canning jars for convenience, but note that there isn’t a vacuum seal as the fruit has not been heated. Instead it is stored in the freezer.

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Mom’s Nectarines Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 quart of freshly sliced nectarines or peaches
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sugar, depending on how sweet the fruit is
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector or a tablespoon of ground up vitamin C (ascorbic acid), or 1 or 2 Tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice

Method

Toss sugar and Fruit-Fresh (or Vit C or lemon juice) together in with the fruit. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow juice to form. Pack into containers. Refrigerate for immediate use, or freeze.

Delicious served over vanilla ice-cream or alone. Lasts up to a year in a cold freezer.

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10 Comments

  1. Reid

    Hi Elise,

    I love nectarines. You are so lucky to be able to grow them where you are. I can just imagine how tasty these would be spooned over some ice cream or as a topping for pound cake. YUMMY!

  2. Elise

    Hi Reid, it would be excellent over pound cake. Great idea. I’ll have to look up a good pound cake recipe.

  3. Ann

    Wow! I didn’t know it was that easy to make a batch and put it in the freezer! Now I’m on a peach and nectarine hunt! Thanks

  4. Dee

    Sorry to ask such a basic question, but about how many (or pounds) of nectarines are in a quart? Also, what is the approximate yield? This sounds delicious!

  5. Elise

    Hi Dee,
    That’s a great question. I’ll have to weigh out the nectarines the next time I make them. In the meantime I would suggest eyeballing it. Account for pits, stems and bruises which you will cut out. Since you don’t cook these, the yield is about what you put in. If you start with a quart of sliced nectarines, you’ll end up with a quart. Maybe a little less to account for the air in between the slices when you start?

  6. Elise

    Hi Dee,
    We just measured our latest batch and found that it takes a little bit more than a lb of nectarines to make 1 pint of sliced nectarines. So if I were buying nectarines, I would buy 2 1/2 lbs for a yield of a quart.

  7. Valerie

    I got on the internet to find something to do with nectarines and found your solution to my problem. We planted a nectarine tree a couple of years ago. Last year we only got 2 nectarines, but this year the tree is loaded and are ripening so quickly we can’t eat them fast enough. Thanks for your help!

  8. Fran

    Hi Elise,
    I came across your recipe while looking for a way to use up excess nectarines. Question – do the nectarines have to be soft? Usually they are hard when you get them from the store and ripen at home. Some of mine still feel hard to the touch while others are already rotting!

    The nectarines should be sweet and flavorful. It doesn’t much matter how hard or soft. ~Elise

  9. Meredith

    I am so excited to make this, our nectarine tree is so full! I made the upside-down nectarine cake from Savour earlier this week and it was delicious!

  10. Helenn

    Just went to the store and saw the nectarines on sale for 50 cents a pound. Yep 50 cents. Since I have just started canning for our family I bought 10 lbs knowing someone would have a way to can them. Thank you so much for your recipe. We will be trying it for sure.

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