I love Summer-time. I love grilled foods. I love Summer’s sweet gifts of locally grown stone fruit. Today, I decided to make a recipe to combine both of my family favs ( just in case I want to relive this very day in upcoming fall- around Thanksgiving.) So I am packing these memories all up in one place—. Inside a mason jar!
I have certainly reached full circle this season. Reaching back to my roots in more ways than one. The revisit to my childhood of jarring and canning fruits, tomato sauces, pickles and compote. So much fun. I’m having a blast – literally, from the past. I am constantly buzzing around like crazy keeping up Mother Nature. I have committed to lead my processing with the natural cycle and ripening stages of the fruits and vegetables abound. All within my 100 mile radius; from farmers I can trust. Current feeling= blessed with bounty.
One of the things I love to do– is take two favor sensations and combine them. This recipe for smoked fruit jam is so robust but balanced nicely with a sweet finish. I’m dying to slather this all over country ham and fresh goat cheese on a toasted slice of Pain au Levain ! I certainly hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
2 ½ pounds firm, but fragrant Nectarines, or plums– or combination of both–washed, stones hulled-skin intact
2 Tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon zest
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, depending on your level of smoke flavor you love
3 Tablespoons classic pectin
3½ cups organic sugar
2 Tablespoons bourbon barrel aged Madagascar vanilla extract or vanilla essential oil
1 Tablespoon of good quality Brandy, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Here’s How To:
Heat a clean grill pan over medium-high heat, or fire up the outdoor grill. Clean and oil grill while pre-heating to medium-high heat. Lightly coat the nectarines with oil, salt and pepper. When the prepared grill is hot, place the fruit— cut-side down. Grill untouched 4-5 minutes covered and then turn to the other cut side and grill 2-3 additional minutes covered. Grill for less time if the peaches are riper than expected. Remove from grill, set aside.
In a large, heavy bottomed stock pot combine the fruit, juice, and zest. Cook over medium high heat. When the fruit begins to breakdown about 1 minute ( this step will be fast because the fruit is already heated from grilling) once the route begins to juice, begin smashing with a potato masher, crush leaving a few bite sized chunks. Add the Brandy away from the flame, return to heat and cook 1 minute to cook of the alcohol.
Once the fruit is beginning to depositing liquid to the stock pot— stir in the pectin. Continue cooking over high heat continually string and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugar, and cumin. Stir to dissolve and continue to boil for 1 full minute.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Cool. Add the vanilla extract or essential oils, salt and pepper to adjust seasoning.
Ladle jam into clean jars and seal with a lid. Leave to cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. Jam keeps in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.
Variations: experiment with other fruits such as apricots, apples or pears. Try adding Bourbon or Tequlia. Add rehydrated raisins or currents.
Makes Aprox 2 1/2 Pints