3 C. peeled, chopped peaches
1 1/2 C. peeled, chopped nectarines
2 T. lemon juice
3 C. sugar
1 package powdered pectin
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. butter (to reduce foam)
First you need to prepare your jars. There are tons of articles on the web that tell you how to do this, so I won’t go into it here. Just make sure that CLEANLINESS is a big priority in your canning process…this is how you avoid contaminating all of your beautiful fruit preserves. I recommend looking at the Ball website or Pick Your Own for basic, safe canning information. Now, get your extra large stockpot/canner filled with water and starting to heat. That much water takes a while to get going. The water level needs to be high enough to cover filled jars by 1-2 inches when submerged in their water bath. Once your supplies are all clean and sterilized, you can start preparing your fruit. Peel, pit, and chop the fruit and place in 6 or 8 qt. stockpot. Stir in lemon juice. Add cinnamon stick. Carefully measure out sugar into a separate bowl. In a small bowl, mix powdered pectin with about 1/4 C. the measured sugar and mix well. Add this mixture to the fruit in the stockpot. Also add optional butter at this point. Bring the fruit mixture to a rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining sugar quickly. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. **NOTE: A full rolling boil is such that when stirred, the boil does not go away. After 1 minute, remove from heat. Skim off any foam. Remove cinnamon stick. Ladle into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 – 1/8 inch of the top (called “head-space”). Wipe any spills on the jar or rim with a clean damp cloth. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands finger-tip tight (this just means screw on tight, but don’t over-do it). Put all of the filled jars into your large stockpot (canner) of boiling water, submerge either with a canning rack (very handy), canning jar grabber, or silicone oven mitts (don’t recommend). The canning rack is great because it keeps the jars off the bottom of the pot preventing etching, scratching, or cracking the glass. If you don’t have a rack, you need to put a tea towel in the bottom of the pot to cushion the jars and make sure there’s space between the jars themselves to allow water to circulate through. The water should cover the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add more boiling water if necessary. Once the water starts boiling with the jars in the canner, put the lid on and start your timer for 10 minutes. Boil on medium…not a hard boil, but not too gentle. Carefully remove jars from canner–THEY WILL BE HOT! Place on a towel on the counter to cool. When you hear the pop and see that the flat lid is indented, you know you have a good seal. If any jars don’t seal after a couple hours, you can reprocess 10 more minutes, or simply store in the fridge to eat right away. It will keep there for up to a month. Let sealed jars stand at room temp on counter for 24 hours. Store the unopened, sealed jars in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year. Once you open one, store in the fridge for up to a month (any longer and it will start to crystalize).