The strawberries at my local farmers’ markets are going strong right now, and I can never resist picking up a few baskets after the vendors ply me with samples and smiles. My favorite way to eat them is right out of hand, or sometimes crushed with a little sugar and ice.
But seasonal strawberries are fleeting, so I try to save a bit of that fresh, fruity flavor for winter when I’m longing for summer berries.
This balsamic strawberry jam adds a savory note to the traditional preserve, making it suitable for charcuterie spreads as well as grilled pork tenderloin, fruit vinaigrette, and anywhere you want a rich, bold flavor with a touch of sweetness. Get the recipe here or keep scrolling to learn how to make your own.
Balsamic Strawberry Jam
Makes 4 half-pints
2 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Prepare a water bath canner, along with four half-pint jars.
In a large non-reactive pan, use a potato masher to mash the strawberries with the sugar. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Continue cooking at a rolling boil until it reaches 220°F or the strawberries have thickened and reduced in volume, about 15 to 20 minutes.
(Optional: To test for gel without a candy thermometer, dip a metal spoon into the strawberries and lift the spoon out of the steam. Tilt the spoon on its side. If the jam “sheets” off the spoon, rather than dribbles like a syrup, gelling point has been reached.)
Skim off any foam as needed. Remove the pan from heat, then stir in the vinegar, lemon juice, and pepper.
Ladle the jam into the prepared jars, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean, then seal with lids and rings.
Process the jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as necessary.
This is the second recipe I’ve developed for Ball Canning. (If you missed the first one for quick pickled roasted beets, you can find it here.) All summer long, I’ll be sharing a series of simple recipes for preserving your favorite produce, some with no boiling water bath needed!
We have a busy and exciting month ahead because on July 22, 2016, I’ll be hosting a special Facebook Live event in partnership with Ball Canning to celebrate their sixth annual International Can-It-Forward Day.
My event will benefit Enrich LA, a local nonprofit that builds edible gardens for schools, so be sure to mark July 22 on your calendar, “like” Garden Betty on Facebook, and watch the event when it happens at 12 pm PT. Stay tuned for more details in the coming week!