Nectarine-Blueberry Pie Filling
- Rinse nectarines; halve and remove pits. If using peaches, immerse in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds or until skins begin to crack; remove and plunge into cold water. Slip off skins; halve and remove pits. Cut fruit into 1/2-inch slices. To prevent the fruit from darkening, treat it with ascorbic acid color keeper according to package directions. Measure 16 cups of nectarines or peaches. Rinse and drain blueberries. Set aside.
- In an 8-quart Dutch oven or kettle heat about 6 cups water to boiling. Add half of the nectarines or peaches; return to boiling. Boil for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer nectarines to a large bowl; cover. Repeat with remaining nectarines or peaches. Discard liquid from Dutch oven.
- In the same kettle combine sugar, tapioca, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the 2-1/4 cups water. Let stand 5 minutes to allow tapioca to soften. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Add lemon juice; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Immediately add nectarines or peaches and blueberries, stirring gently to coat. Cook and stir for 3 minutes or until heated through.
- Spoon hot fruit mixture into hot, sterilized quart canning jars, leaving 1-1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims, and adjust lids. Process the filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 30 minutes (start timing when water begins to boil). Remove jars from canner; cool on racks. Makes 4 quarts (enough for 4 pies or 40 tarts or turnovers).
From the Test Kitchen
First measure the circumference and height of the jar. Use straight scissors to cut a piece of paper 1 inch wider and taller then the measured size. With the long edges together, fold the paper in half. Using pinking shears, make cuts through the fold every 1/4 inch, leaving 1/4 inch uncut at the ends. Unfold paper. Wrap paper piece around the jar, taping the ends together at top and bottom. Tie a ribbon bow around the top of the jar. Include preparation directions with gift
Make different designs in the cut-paper wrap by using a variety of decorative-edge scissors to cut the slits.
Tape measure, straight-edge scissors, decorative art paper, pinking shears, tape, and ribbon.
Nectarine-Blueberry Pie: Prepare pastry for two-crust pie. Spoon 1 quart Nectarine-Blueberry Pie Filling into a pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate. Cut slits in top crust; adjust top crust. Seal and flute edge. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes; remove foil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes more or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly. Makes one 9-inch pie.
Nectarine-Blueberry Tarts or Turnovers: Prepare pastry for three single-crust pies. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces and form into balls. Roll each ball of dough into a 6-inch circle and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Use 1-quart Nectarine-Blueberry Pie Filling. For tarts, place about 1/3 cup filling in the center of each circle, spreading filling to about 1-1/2 inches from edges. Bring pastry up and over filling, pleating as necessary, forming a border. For turnovers, spoon filling onto half of the pastry circle to about 3/4 inch from edge. Fold other half of pastry up and over filling. Brush edges with a little milk and seal edges, crimping as desired. Using a sharp knife, make several small slits in the top of each turnover. If desired, brush tops with a mixture of 1 beaten egg white combined with 1 tablespoon water. Bake tarts or turnovers in a 375 degree F oven about 30 minutes or until light brown. Makes 10 tarts or turnovers.