Since Washington State Fruit Commission and Northwest Cherries were kind enough to send me a case of peaches and nectarines, I decided I would create two recipes, one for each fruit. It’s all part of the ‘Canbassadorship’ they created to help bring more attention to their great website Sweet Preservation, Do go check it out, they offer recipes, tips and terrific canning label downloads.
Jam is getting a bit boring for me (about 30 cases made to date) so I made Peach Mostarda with some of the peaches, and peach ginger jam with a ‘canning 101′ class (nothing noteworthy, peach jam with some candied ginger in it), and peach pie. Whoopla lot of peaches! Every time I looked at the nectarines I thought ‘Pickle’. I don’t know why. I’ve never had pickled nectarines before. I made pickled seckle pears last fall, my first foray into pickling fruit, they were great. So, why not explore? I am truly loving fruit as a savory condiment this season.
While at our local Indian store recently I purchased a bag of Pickle Masala, thinking specifically about those incredible pickled lemon pieces (lemon chutney) good Indian restaurants serve. The Masala has a huge amount of chili in it along with mustard, fenugreek, salt, paprika, turmeric, and asafoetida. Just right for a sweet fruit pickle. I added a more brown mustard seed to each jar and a lightly sweetened apple cider vinegar brine. I did not wait the prerequisite 2 weeks sitting time before opening a jar, I had to taste them so I could write them up.. or not. Aside from my nectarines having been too soft to start with, they taste really, really good. I think starting with firmer fruit would be better, they do process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, essentially cooking them.
Spicy Sweet Pickled Nectarines
makes 5 or 6 pints
12 firm nectarines
5-6 tbsp Pickle Masala
3 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
Place vinegar, water and sugar in a small pot and heat to simmering. Meanwhile cut the nectarines into eights and fill each prepared jar within an inch of the top. Spoon spices into jars, 1 tablespoon of Masala and 1/2 teaspoon of brown mustard seeds into each, if your masala doesn’t have salt, add a pinch to each jar as well. Bring the vinegar solution to a boil, ladle into jars leaving 1/2 inch head-space. Wipe rims, place lids and rings on and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Remember, siphoning is OK. Let the jars rest and cool before checking seal.
After tasting these nectarines, I think the brine and fruit would taste amazing cooked down with roast chicken or grilled pork.
I’m going to like fall this year!