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Nectarines in Rum Syrup with Spices

adapted from How to Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients

  • *6 large nectarines sliced in half and pitted
  • *2 cups water
  • *1/2 cup honey preferably local and raw, plus 2 tablespoons more
  • *1/2 cup white rum plus 2 tablespoons more
  • *2 cinnamon sticks
  • *3 star anise
  • *1 vanilla bean split in half
  • *1 quart or 2 pint glass jars with lids

Instructions

  • 1. Place halved nectarines, water, the 1/2 cup honey and the 1/2 cup rum in a pot with the cinnamon, star anise and the vanilla bean. The nectarines should be covered by the liquid. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir so that the honey dissolves completely. Allow to simmer gently for about 1 hour (stir every now and then so that all of the nectarines cook equally).
  • 2. With a slotted spoon, remove the nectarines and place in a bowl. If it's easy to remove the skins, go ahead (feel free to leave them on, though).
  • 3. Put the syrup back on the stove, add the additional 2 tablespoons each of the honey and rum, and allow to boil gently for 10-15 minutes more, so the syrup is reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat.
  • 4. Spoon the nectarines into your jar(s). Pour the syrup through a fine strainer over the fruit and discard the vanilla bean and spices. If some of the nectarines are not fully immersed in the liquid, add more rum so that they are all covered.
  • 5. Cap tightly and allow to sit in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks. These should then be consumed within 6 months.