BVC Eats: Oven Roasted Nectarine Butter

I love jam. Preserves. Butters. Jelly, not so much, but anything else in most any flavor, including the funky spicy and herbal concoctions. Blueberry-Earl Gray Tea. Strawberry-basil. Blackberry-ginger. I’ve never gone the full big-pots-of-boiling-water canning route, but I’ve made small batches that I can store in the refrigerator or freezer.

A few days ago, I was walking through the produce section of a local grocery big box when I decided to try and make a spread with less added sugar. Hunted through recipes on my phone, and found one for Oven-Roasted Nectarine Butter. Anything oven-roasted appeals to me, as did the fact that added sugar was an option, not a requirement. So I bought five pounds of yellow nectarines and headed home to get to work.

I sliced up the nectarines and piled them into a large glass baking dish. Broke open 10 green cardamom pods, ground the seeds, and sprinkled them over the fruit. I also added a scant half-teaspoon Kosher salt. I always add a little salt to jams and preserves–I feel it boosts the flavor and reduces the need for added sugar.

Ready for the oven

Then came the roasting–250 degrees F for as long as it took. I was a little concerned about whether the skins would remain intact or get tough, but as cooking time went on, they disintegrated.

One hour

Five hours

Seven hours–out of the oven

All jarred up

At the seven hour mark, the butter mounded on the spoon. Done! I added spices–a half-teaspoon of cinnamon, and quarter-teaspoons of ground ginger, allspice, and coriander. I also added the zest from half a large lemon and a couple tablespoons of juice to deepen the flavor and lower the pH. In the end, I wound up with maybe 3/4 of a liter of preserves.

It tasted good before I put it in the refrigerator, and it tasted even better the next morning. It was also very thick.

Breakfast

 

It’s not the prettiest stuff in the world, but it is delicious.I’ll definitely be making this again, with nectarines or other stone fruits. I will also try strawberries and mixed berry blends. And pears. I’m almost always disappointed in the flavor–or lack of flavor–of pear preserves, so I am looking forward to seeing if roasting improves matters.

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About Kristine Smith

Kristine Smith is the author of the Jani Kilian series and a number of SF and fantasy short stories, and is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She worked as a pharmaceutical process development scientist for 26 years, but now writes full-time. She also writes supernatural thrillers under the name Alex Gordon. Check out her BVC bookshelf

Comments

BVC Eats: Oven Roasted Nectarine Butter — 8 Comments

  1. I might have to try this. I’ve avoided jams for a LONG time due to diabetes. Even no sugar added concoctions have the natural sugars of the fruit and the preservatives to brighten the color, and fake sugars tend to make me shy away from spreads. But this looks amazing!

    • This stuff is sweet–it’s 5 lbs of nectarines cooked down to about 3/4 of a liter–but it’s a different sweetness. You can tell it’s from the fruit. It has depth. Plus you have all the fiber to slow release, especially if you don’t use a stick blender to smooth things out. Luckily, mine broke down a few months ago, or I would’ve used it.

      Looking forward to pear season. I may not peel them, either.

        • Cardamom worked well with the nectarines, and I’ve had peach/cardamom before. I find it aromatic-lemony, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with pears.

  2. Pear butter is amazing stuff, especially the ones heavy on the ginger. One use of it you may or may not have come across is to roll it up to bake in bread dough instead of brown sugar and cinnamon. Scrumptious!

    • Ooh, great idea! I’ve made cinnamon rolls with apple butter, but never thought about using the pear butter.

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