Habanero Nectarine Jam

habanero nectarine jam cooling
A fiery jam that is insanely good with cheese and crackers, but watch out --- it's addictive!

a sweet and spicy jam that's incredible with cheese and crackers

Nectarines…a food doesn’t get a name like that for nothing.  The flavor of nectarines is nothing short of transcendent.  It conjures up the food of the gods, the raw material for honey, the sweetest, most delectable taste imaginable.  Nectarines don’t disappoint.

nectarines

The Washington State Fruit Commission sent me a shipment of gorgeous nectarines last week, and I’m returning the favor by sharing a delicious, and a little unexpected, way to keep the nectarine party going all year long.  Their site, Sweet Preservation, is dedicated to the art of  preserving fresh fruit, and it’s full of recipes, tips, and even downloadable labels.  Did you know that nectarines and peaches are technically the same fruit?  The thinner, non-fuzzy skin and brighter flavor of nectarines is the result of a happy mutation.  I think I prefer them to peaches because the flavor seems tarter and more vivid, and the flesh is a little firmer.  In any event they work beautifully in this spicy jam.

Spicy low sugar habanero nectarine jam

I could have made a straightforward breakfast spread out of my windfall of nectarines, but I couldn’t resist setting them on fire with a couple of habanero peppers.  Tiny orange habaneros are small, but one of the hotter peppers out there, and they give this jam a real punch.  Hot pepper jam is one of the more exciting taste experiences you’re likely to have, with the intensity amped up both on the sweet end and the spicy end.  Your taste buds get a real workout!  We love hot pepper jam with cheese and crackers — once you get your first bite, it’s hard to stop, the stuff is seriously addictive!

chopped nectarines

I don’t peel the nectarines for this jam because so much of the flavor resides in the peel, and it lends a nice color as well.  About 6-8 nectarines will make around 2 1/2 pints of jam.  This recipe is for a refrigerator, or freezer, jam, meaning it’s not meant to be water bath canned.  You can keep it in the fridge and eat it within a few weeks, or freeze it for up to a year.  I’m a fan of this method because I think it allows for a fresher taste and texture.  It also allows you to use much less sugar than is required for canning.  You have greater freedom with refrigerator/freezer recipes because you aren’t bound by rigid sugar/acid ratios necessary for safe canning.

fiery sweet/hot nectarine habanero jam

I ladle the hot jam into small jars because a little goes a long way here, and they’re the perfect size for putting out with a cheese tray.   I kept one jar in the fridge for immediate use (within 3 weeks) and I stashed the rest in the freezer, where they’ll keep for a year.  I always make sure to save a jar or two for holiday get-togethers.

habanero nectarine jam cooling

Habanero Nectarine Freezer Jam

Yield: about 5 cups or 2 1/2 pints

Habanero Nectarine Freezer Jam

Ingredients

  • 6-7 ripe nectarines, chopped but not peeled (about 4 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 2 habanero peppers, de-stemmed and rough chopped, seeds and all
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 box powdered low or no sugar pectin (1.75 ounce)

Instructions

  1. Put all the chopped nectarines and the chopped habanero peppers in a heavy pot or large saucepan. Add the sugar and 1/3 cup water. Stir to combine and heat on medium high heat until the mixture boils. Turn down the heat a bit and boil gently for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the fruit has softened.
  2. Use an immersion blender to partially puree the mixture. Be careful, as it is super hot. I like to leave the jam with a few chunks still left in it for a nice texture.
  3. Put the jam back over medium heat and add the pectin. Stir well and bring back to a boil. Boil one minute longer.
  4. Fill clean jars with the hot jam. If you are going to freeze the jam, leave 1/2 inch free at the top to allow for expansion as it freezes.
  5. Cover and let the jams sit until they are at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.

Notes

Use caution when handling habaneros, they are very hot and the oil will burn sensitive areas of your body. Wash thoroughly after chopping them..

https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/habanero-nectarine-jam/

notes:

  • Feel free to boil the jam longer if yours seems very thin.

nectarine freezer jam

Check out Sweet Preservation for lots more recipes and ideas for how to can all your favorite summer fruit.  With just a little planning you can have all sorts of great holiday gifts waiting in your pantry (or freezer!)

 

a few more easy canning projects…

French Apple Jam, made super easy the European way

French Apple Jam

DSC_0035-002

Crock Pot Cranberry Butter

Old Fashioned Relish | The View from Great Island 1

Old Fashioned Relish with a Kick

27 Comments

  • Reply
    Cathy Bailley
    October 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    This jam is amazing!
    Added another habanero pepper and your so right the tartness is wonderful with the heat,thought the Peach Habanero was my fave but not so sure after the nectarine!
    Gotta say your recipes are just great and do love that you figure the pectin out!
    Thanks so much have a lot of jam for winter.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 11, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Cathy! I’m a self-taught jam maker, so I’m always thrilled when readers are super happy with their results. I am a total fool for hot pepper jams, so I’ll continue to do new varieties until I run out of ideas :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    August 30, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Can you can this jam in a water bath? If so any changes to the recipe?

  • Reply
    Yazmin
    August 10, 2016 at 12:54 am

    I need to make Jam that needs to be canned on warm water, not frozen… Can this recipe be used and all I do is add lemon or this recipe is only for frozen jam?

  • Reply
    Michele
    July 10, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    We are already having a bumper crop of habaneros in Northern California so very happy to find your recipe. I’ve never made jam before and was happy this didn’t require canning. I haven’t waited the full 24 hours but my jam is not setting up (yet). I used the pink box of pectin and let it boil the full minute once it came back to a boil. What do you think I might be the problem? The fruit was very ripe. Perhaps that was too much liquid? Just want to do better on the next batch!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 11, 2016 at 6:22 am

      I’m surprised yours isn’t setting up if you’ve used the whole box of pectin. You can always continue boiling jam to thicken it more, which might have helped if your fruit was super juicy. That being said, I like my hot pepper jams to be slightly soft for spreading on cheese. Let me know how it is after the full 24 hours.

      • Reply
        Michele
        July 11, 2016 at 7:34 pm

        They set up perfectly overnight …. And it’s such a beautiful color and wonderful flavor! Next up will be your recipe for pepper jelly. Thank you for your response and encouragement, Sue.

  • Reply
    Karla Curry
    September 5, 2015 at 7:41 am

    This looks soooo good. We have a sizable garden and nearby orchards, so I’m always looking for canning recipes. We love spicy things, and I’ve been looking into different sweet/spicy combos (I recently bookmarked a recipe for strawberry jalapeno jam). Definitely going to try this one! Last time I made peach jam I added chia for thickening and just a bit of honey since the fruit was already nice and sweet, so I would probably play around with the quantities. :)

  • Reply
    Susan
    August 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    A friend gifted me a gallon bag of jalapeños … so I used a couple to make peach jam with jalapeños … what nice heat! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    August 6, 2015 at 4:40 am

    I am such a fan of sweet/spicy jams and this one is perfect. Love the use of nectarines :)

  • Reply
    Atticus
    August 5, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I’m usually not too into spicy things, but I’ll have to give this a try! It looks very tasty!

  • Reply
    denise@magnoliaverandah
    August 5, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    This sounds perfect with cheese and biscuits or an alternative pickle with a ploughmans lunch, or on chunky ham sandwiches the possibilities are endless!

  • Reply
    Liz
    August 5, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Perfect to have on hand for unexpected company! I love this flavor combo and I bet it is wonderful over cream cheese!

  • Reply
    John@Kitchen+Riffs
    August 5, 2015 at 9:08 am

    “Nectarines…a food doesn’t get a name like that for nothing.” Great line! And wow, what a great recipe! Love the heat you’ve put into this. Really good stuff — thanks.

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    August 5, 2015 at 4:58 am

    What a delicious flavor combination Sue! The jam is beautiful and I love the idea of not having to water can it. So many ways I can think to use it!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's+Recipes
    August 5, 2015 at 3:44 am

    We don’t eat jam or marmalade very often, but when we do, it has to be HOMEMADE. This looks amazingly delicious.

  • Reply
    Maria | Pink Patisserie
    August 4, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I love spicy sweet jams on top of my fish and can never get enough of it! This recipe looks like perfection..

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    August 4, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Love that kick of heat from the habanero!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    August 4, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    This sounds great. Living in the Caribbean, scotch bonnets are popular, and we even grew them when we were in FL. My mother in law has a family recipe for Mango Chutney and we put scotch bonnets it and it is very, very tasty. I will have to try this if we get some decent nectarines soon. We love spicy here also.

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      I love a nice hot chutney!

  • Reply
    Eileen
    August 4, 2015 at 11:52 am

    This jam sounds so good! I have to admit that I almost never cook with nectarines — they just get eaten way too fast. But I may have to exercise my willpower so I can have some of this jam!

  • Reply
    Schatzi49
    August 4, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I can see this over cream cheese at a football party, it it lasts that long.Or as a coating over meatballs, good grief better make a double batch.

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 4, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      haha, I’m not so sure about the ice cream, but I’m totally with you on the meatballs!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    August 4, 2015 at 8:06 am

    This is a beautiful jam Sue. Love the heat from the habanero peppers. Sharing and Pinning!

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 4, 2015 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Tricia – we love our hot pepper jams and jellies in this house!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    August 4, 2015 at 8:04 am

    So very pretty and delicious sounding Sue. I can see why it could be seriously addicting!

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 4, 2015 at 8:13 am

      Thanks Chris, I know you love things hot and spicy too :)

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