The first strawberries of the season arrived this past weekend, and I couldn’t have been happier to see them at several of my favorite farm stands. Even though the official first day of summer is still a week away, I’m already well into preserving mode, and I’ve been itching to move on to projects that include berries.
There’s nothing that really speaks to the arrival (finally!) of summer in upstate New York like being able to stroll through the farmer’s market, perusing some of the best produce in the nation. And the weather isn’t half bad either. Summers in upstate New York are why people still live in upstate New York, I’m convinced.
I can’t wait to start preserving everything the summer produce season has to offer, and strawberries are an excellent place to start. Strawberries are the quintessential summer fruit, and balsamic vinegar truly enhances the color and flavor of these juicy berries. Although I personally like to add a bit of fresh black pepper as well for a little extra kick, you can certainly leave it out if it’s not your thing.
Either way, I hope you’ll step out of your canning comfort zone and add this to your list of preserving projects for the summer, because the resulting jam is sweet and delicious, and it has definitely become a new favorite around here. Our favorite way to enjoy it is spooned over the top of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, but I also frequently serve it with cream scones or English muffins. If you haven’t planned a trip to go strawberry picking yet, make sure to pick a few extra pints and try this strawberry balsamic jam!
If strawberries and balsamic vinegar is a flavor combination that intrigues you, you also have to try Casey’s all grown up homemade strawberry gelato with balsamic vinegar and black pepper too.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam Recipe
- 8 Strawberries whole and hulled
- 4 Lemon Juice
- 3 Balsamic Vinegar
- Black Pepper freshly ground – 3 grinds worth (optional)
- 1.75 Powdered Pectin
- 6.5 Granulated Sugar
- In a large sauce pan, crush the strawberries. Add in the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, stirring frequently.
- Prepare your canning supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes, and heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids.
- Stir in the pectin until dissolved. Bring back to a boil, and then add in the sugar all at once. Boil hard for a minute longer.
- Skim off any foam and ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
- Place the lids and bands on top, screwing on the bands just until fingertip-tight. Place the full jars back into the boiling water and process 10 minutes.
- Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel. Let the jars cool. The seals should suck down (you’ll hear a popping noise as they do). Makes 8-9 eight-ounce jars.