The last of the stone fruits, a box of peaches and nectarines was dropped off at Co-op HQ by always-generous Co-op-er Shan. She bought a box at our local Hollywood Farmers Market, and making cobbler for her family she shared them with the Co-op so we can all enjoy them. When it hits 105 the fruit starts to dry on the tree, so we appreciate the knowing farmers who picked these now. Though not as juicy, the flavor is exemplary. Previously we have combined peaches with whole vanilla beans, and this is a winning preserve. A slam-dunk in the toast spreads finals. The nectarines had a tarter edge than the peaches and seemed suited to pairing with peppers, and I still had a few of Marina’s incendiary devices (tiny little Thai red chilis). The Co-op has a hard-core group of ginger-aficionados, and nectarines with ginger just seemed natural. The peaches were paired with the vanilla beans again, but I added some fresh grated nutmeg (because I just really like nutmeg! my family knows it is my signature spice) and then some brandy as well to the second batch. Note that lemons are in every shot: Jackie G’s lemons are the backbone of the Co-op. (You have to have a certain acidic component to preserve safely.) So we ended up with a Co-op distribution of 4 different preserves: Nectarine Ginger Jam, Nectarine Pepper Jam (this one is spicy, it does have a little kick), Peach Vanilla Nutmeg Preserves and Peach Vanilla Nutmeg Brandy Preserves. Thanks to Jocelyn for dropping off the brandy; as one of LA’s premier pastry chefs, she knows that brandy can amp up a flavor. By the way, her macaroons seriously contend with Fauchon, thus the tea towel* background. This one is a shout-out to you, Jocelyn!
Thanks to Chitra for the awesome labels. They make a huge difference in that little last step, and not only are a time-saver but look so polished.
(note: the tea towel* is a map of the Paris Metro.)