Habanero Nectarine Jam

habanero nectarine jam cooling

Habanero nectarine jam will liven up your morning toast and be the star of your next cheese plate. This fiery but sweet hot pepper jam is addictive!

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.


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. This habanero nectarine 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

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 frosty jar of nectarine habanero jam

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!
  • Feel free to boil the jam longer if yours seems very thin.
habanero nectarine jam cooling
3.04 from 26 votes

Habanero Nectarine Freezer Jam

Habanero nectarine jam will liven up your morning toast and be the star of your cheese plate. This fiery but sweet jam is addictive!
Course Jam
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Put the jam back over medium heat and add the pectin. Stir well and bring back to a boil. Boil one minute longer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


Don’t forget to pin this Habanero Nectarine Jam!

Habanero nectarine jam pin


a few more easy canning projects…

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  • 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
      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
    August 30, 2016 at 11:03 pm

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

  • Reply
    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
    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
      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
        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
    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
    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
    [email protected]
    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
    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!

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