Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Happy #SundaySupper! This week we were challenged to make a recipe using five ingredients or less. Now, I’m a baker, so this was an exceptionally hard challenge for me, but one I was willing to try. After some thought, this Strawberry Balsamic Jam was born. It’s sweet, tangy, and perfect for spreading.

I like a good challenge every once in awhile. A task that tests my skills and pushes my line of limitation, and I believe a 5-ingredient challenge is just that. We were given three freebies: water, salt, and pepper. That’s it. Everything else has to be accounted for. Baking requires too many ingredients, so that was out of the question. I did the next best thing and canned some jam.

I adore fall, and it happens to be my favorite season, but I hate saying good-bye to summer fruit. Nothing beats a juicy peach, plump strawberries, sweet cantaloupe, or deep red watermelons. I decided I wasn’t quite ready to say my farewell to summer fruit, so what better way to preserve the season than to can some strawberries? I’ve been wanting to try the classic strawberry balsamic combination, which, I’m told, is a match made in heaven. I’ve never actually tried the combination, so I figured it was time to say goodbye to my strawberry balsamic virginity and give it a try.

The critics were right, strawberry and balsamic are meant for each other. This Strawberry Balsamic Jam is easy to make and absolutely delicious on just about everything.

This jam happens to be my new addiction. I love spreading it on my Buttermilk Biscuits, layering it in between these Strawberry Peanut Butter Oat Bars, spooning it over my morning oatmeal, adding it to my post workout smoothie, or swirling it in this Strawberry Basil Milkshake. That’s a whole lot of jam.

I completely understand what all the strawberry/balsamic fuss is about…They’re a perfect pair. The acidity of the balsamic cuts through the sweetness of the strawberries, creating the perfect balance of sweet berry flavor.

I started with 6 jars and only have 2 left. I’ll be producing this jam in mass quantities next summer.

Go get yo’ jam on!

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Yield: 6 jars

Total Time: 1 hour

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Add the chopped strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar to a large pot. Simmer until strawberries are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you have an immersion blender, puree strawberries right in the pot until slightly smooth but still slightly chunky. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until desired consistency, then add the mixture back to the pot.
  2. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, and cook for 30 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken. Stir frequently to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot. The jam is done when there is a visible trace left with your finger on a wooden spoon.
  3. To can: Wash your jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water. Rinse well. Sterilize the jars and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water for 10 minutes (the water should cover the jars completely). Add the lids to a clean bowl and add a ladle of boiling water to the bowl. Remove the jars and rings onto a clean towel, placing the jars upside down to remove any excess water. Remove the lids from the bowl onto the clean towel. Divide the hot jam between the jars, leaving about a 1/2-inch space at the top. Wipe the rims clean with a paper towel and cover with lids and screw on the rings. Submerge the jars in the pot of boiling water, either in a removable basket (I recommend the basket. It makes the process easier, and you’re less likely to get burned) or with tongs. Make sure the jars are fully submerged and covered with at least 1 inch of water. Boil for ten minutes. Remove the basket or dip out individually with tongs. Let cool completely on the towel, leaving them there overnight, untouched (do not touch the lids or push on them). You’ll begin to hear a popping sound a few minutes after the jars have been removed from the hot water. This is completely normal and a good sign of proper canning. The next morning, check the lids by making sure they don’t make a popping sound when pressed with your finger. If they’re canned correctly, the lids won’t budge or flex. If they do flex, place the jar in the fridge and use right away. Label and date the jars and store at room temperature.
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