Science Experiments Part 2

In Canning, Recipes on October 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM

“I believe it’s time to bring back pickled fruit,” says Marisa McClellan in her piece on SeriousEats.com where I scored this recipe.

Pickled spiced fruit. Um….really? Ya. I had the same reaction but I also thought AWESOME. Why not? So, I tried out this little number and the result was better than I had expected.

Pickled Nectarines

A few notes: I did not do the water boil this time around because I didn’t have a big enough pan. I know – that should have been the first thing I got but I was more excited for star anise than pans. For the next go around I’d like to properly can this one because it’s not something that you will eat a whole jar of. Plus, these would be perfect in smaller jars to give as gifts. I know, reeeeally, am I gonna be that person now?

I anticipate using these as a nice accoutrement to fall/winter meat dishes – like short ribs or pulled pork. They were tart and crunchy after two weeks in the fridge. If you live near me The Common Crow is THE place for all your spices, for everything. You can buy any amount so they’re fresh and cheaper than a whole jar.



  • 6 nectarines (approximately 2 1/2 pounds) it’s best to use under-ripe fruit
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 3/4 granulated sugar I used coconut sugar and reduced to 1/2 cup
  • 2 teaspoons pickling salt
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into thirds
  • 1 bay leaf, broken into thirds I skipped this because I didn’t have any handy
  • 3/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided


If using, prepare a boiling water bath canner and place three lids in a small saucepan at a bare simmer.

Prepare three regular mouth jars.

Wash nectarines and slice into 12 wedges per piece of fruit.

Combine 2 cups of white vinegar with 2 cups water, 3/4 cup granulated white sugar and 2 teaspoons pickling salt. As the brine comes to a boil, divide the spices evenly between the three jars.

Once brine is boiling, add fruit to the pot. Stir to help settle the fruit into the brine. Once the fruit has relaxed into the brine and the brine is boiling, remove pot from heat.

Carefully ladle the fruit into the jars, using a wooden chopstick to help the nectarine slices settle into place. Pour brine over fruit to cover. Tap jars gently to help dislodge any air bubbles that may be trapped between the nectarine slices. Use your wooden chopstick to finish the job. Wipe rims and apply lids and rings.

* If processing for shelf stability, carefully lower jars into boiling water bath and process for 10 minutes. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool.

Once processed jars are cool, remove rings, check seals and wash jars to remove any stickiness.

Unprocessed jars should also be washed once cool and then stored in the refrigerator. Pickled nectarines can be eaten as soon as cooled, though for best flavor, allow them to sit in their brine for at least 48 hours before eating.


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