4 lbs of ripe whole nectarines
5 C sugar
1 large lemon
Put a small, dry plate in the freezer.
Chop the nectarines, removing the pits but leaving the skins on. The skins are full of pectin and add a pleasant color and texture to the jam. Measure five cups of sugar into a bowl. Set aside.
Put the nectarines in a stock pot. You should use a pot that is 10 quarts or larger because this jam will bubble up while cooking. Zest the lemon with a small grater, directly into the pot before cutting the lemon in two and squeezing in the juice.
Put your pot on the stove over medium heat. Slowly pour in sugar, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Boil for ten minutes, stirring to prevent the jam from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
As the jam boils, it will produce foam. Most of it will go away, as it boils. Whatever is left, you can scrape off with a metal spoon and throw away. The foam doesn’t taste good and it spoils the flavor of the jam, if it’s left there.
Using a potato masher, break up the remaining chunks of nectarine. Stir and return to a boil for one minute.
To test consistency, put a small dollop on the cold plate that you placed in the freezer earlier. If it’s too runny, let it cook a little longer and try again. If you like the consistency, it’s done.
Pour the jam into a container of your choice, then use a butter knife to scrape the inside of the container, to release the air bubbles. If you want to freeze your jam for use later, make sure it’s in a freezable container. Otherwise, put the jam in the refrigerator to cool before using it.
It’s great in PB & J sandwiches but also great with ice cream, on biscuits or sweet breads.