This summer has been the season of canning. I’ve been pickling and preserving every chance I get. In fact, while we were in the throws of construction at Grove House, I decided to become a Certified Master Food Preserver through the University of California. It was my weekly escape as I learned the proper techniques of fruit preserves, jams, jellies, pickles, fermenting and dehydrating foods. I hope to be able to pass on this new knowledge to my friends, family and community. It’s so rewarding to put up your own food and spend time in the kitchen with others.
One of the biggest hits with preserving this summer was Strawberry Balsamic Jam…
It might seem strange adding balsamic vinegar to your jam, but the depth of flavor it creates is astonishing. I don’t know if I will ever make regular strawberry jam ever again. I also make a Strawberry-Rhubarb with Balsamic and Black Pepper…delicious! People are always asking “what’s in this?” as they gobble it by the spoonful.
This is a softer set jam since it is made without added pectin, which in my opinion taste so much better than those thick, stick to your spoon kinds. I hope you’ll try your hand at making this jam. It isn’t difficult. I promise.
- 2 lbs strawberries
- 2½ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Wash strawberries, remove stem caps, cut in half.
- Combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl.
- Crush the mixture with a potato masher or your hands. Let sit 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a wide bottom pan and bring to a boil over high heat while stirring continuously.
- Continue cooking at a rolling boil until it reaches 220 degrees. This should take 8-10 minutes. You may also want to test for gel set.
- Once gel set has been reached, skim if needed.
- Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar. I-2 Tbs depending on preference.
- Ladle jam into 4 half-pint prepared jars, leaving ¼" headspace. Add lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and wait 5 minutes before removing from canner.