August 29, 2012

Chile Spice Pickled Nectarines

4 large nectarines, pitted and sliced
1 cup water
1 1/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
8 whole cloves
4 white cardamom pods
12 black peppercorns
2 whole star anise
10 coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
2 dried Thai birds-eye chiles

Prep your jars/lids. Evenly divide the spices and nectarine slices between 2 pint jars. Combine the water, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour brine over the nectarine slices, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove any bubbles. Seal and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

Yield: 2 pints

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.

My thoughts:
I can't believe this is the first recipe I've posted using nectarines. I've been doing this for over eight years now and nectarines might possibly be my favorite fruit. I think I eat them too quickly to get the urge to make something with them.

Anyway! I've seen a lot of recipes for pickled peaches in the past. I've been tempted to pickle peaches too but 1. peach fuzz makes my hands itchy so I avoid handling peaches as much as possible and 2. I had some nectarines that I wasn't sure I was going to eat in time. Since I was making some other pickles and had room in the pot, I thought I'd make a couple of jars out of them. I'm glad I did! They are perfectly sweet-tart, spicy and very juicy. I think they'd be lovely over a salad or served with seafood. They are just so light and summery. The chile adds just enough heat to keep them interesting and from sliding into "candied" territory.