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Recipe: Strawberry-Balsamic Jam

June 25, 2013

So, you likely saw the recipe title and said one of two things.  Ewww-yuck or ohhhhhh-yum, depending on if you've ever ventured into drizzling your strawberries with a bit of balsamic vinegar or not.  The combination is delightful.  Somehow, the balsamic vinegar manages to brighten the flavor of the strawberries.  Not convinced?

I made this jam and put one jar in the refrigerator.  That night I asked my husband if he'd like a little vanilla ice cream with warmed strawberry jam over the top.  He absolutely did.  He thought it was regular strawberry jam.  He loved it - scraped the bowl clean and told me that was the best strawberry ice cream topping he'd ever had.  I smiled and said nothing.  He then proceeded to let his sister know he had tried a really good strawberry ice cream topping I'd made.  That's when I told him.  He was amazed at what a little balsamic vinegar could do.  He's now a believer.

The recipe originally stated makes 2 pint jars, however, I ended up with just over 4 pint jars so I've adjusted the amount on the recipe.  You can certainly opt for half-pint, but once you've tried this, you'll have no problem going through a full pint.

This is great as jam for toast, warmed and poured over ice cream or even paired with cheese and crackers.  It's delicious.  I hope you give it a try!

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

makes 4-5 pints or 8-10 half-pints

8 cups washed, hulled and diced strawberries
3 Tablespoons lemon juice {fresh or bottled}
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
41/2 teaspoons Pomona brand pectin + 5 teaspoons calcium water {all comes together in the Pomona packet}

Prepare the calcium water according to the Pomona package instructions.  Set aside.

Measure the sugar and pour into a bowl along with 4-1/2 teaspoons Pomona pectin.  Stir with a fork to evenly distribute the pectin throughout the sugar.  Set aside.

If you need to sterilize your jars in your canning pot, get that going prior to making the jam.

Once you're ready to make the jam, in a large nonreactive pot over medium-high heat, pour in the strawberries, lemon juice and 5 teaspoons calcium water.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil, stirring here and there, and skimming off any foam {and discarding} that accumulates on the top. 

Once it comes to a boil, add the balsamic vinegar.  Stir and bring back to a boil.  Pour the pectin-sugar mixture into the boiling jam, slowly and carefully, stirring well as you add.  Stir vigorously, about 1-2 minutes, to incorporate and bring back to a boil.  Remove from heat.

Skim off any foam that has accumulated on the top and discard.

Ladle into canning jars, wipe rims and can according to water bath instructions. 
Process in water bath for 6 minutes.

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