Flavors of Summer



Nectarine and Pluot JamSometimes the thought of making jam on a hot summer day does not appeal to me in the least. The heat of the stove and the arduous task of sanitizing the jars seems counterintuitive on a summer day and I rather go paddle boarding on the lake. ┬áBut, I finally realized the other day — ok sometimes I can be a bit slow on the uptake – that you can make quick jam in 40 minutes and spend the next few weeks devouring the lovely flavors of summer .

It all started when I realized I had over 3 pounds of nectarines and 2 of pluots that needed to be eaten in the next few days. When I knew that we would not be able to consume them, I thought why not make jam. But, not the kind of jam that requires jar sanitation, pectin or labeling.

I had enough to make 3 jars, so I knew we could consume them even before we left to go back to the city.

So, my daughter and I chopped up all the fruit, added honey, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel and a big pinch of kosher salt. I added an apple for the pectin and it worked quite well. Cooked it for about 40 minutes until it was thick enough. This was not sticky jam, but it was delicious this morning on my sourdough toast and exquisite on my daughter’s grilled ham and cheese sandwich. I even know that it will be perfect for the pork chops I plan to put on the grill tonight!

It was absolutely worth the time we put into it. I also am elated that we used what we had on hand and did not let these beautiful summer fruits go to waste.

Below is a basic recipe, but feel free to alter it and use what you already have in your kitchen:

3 pounds nectarines, chopped
2 pounds pluots, chopped
1 apple, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, optional
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Juice of one lemon
2 strips of lemon peel