I make and can strawberry jam most years. It’s a great way to preserve berries that all ripen at once. We eat the jam on peanut butter sandwiches, in jam bar cookies and sometimes just straight from the jar. We also give it as gifts. This year, for my first batch, I used my friend Laura Latham’s recipe. It uses less sugar and a touch of balsamic vinegar for a less sweet, more nuanced taste. It was a hit in our house and is on its way to becoming a family favorite.
Recipe courtesy Now Things are Cookin’ blog
- 4 quarts strawberries, hulled and rinsed
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 Tbsp. unsweetened fruit pectin
- 9 half pint (8 ounce) canning jars with lids
- Place jars and lids in a large enamel coated pot, fill with water until the jars are covered by about an inch of water. Bring to a steady boil for at least 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile pour 4 quarts of strawberries into a large pot and set over medium heat. Mash strawberries, releasing their juices. Stir in sugar and fruit pectin. As the fruit is heated, continue mashing the berries into a pulp. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring often.
- At this point, there will be lots of foam on the top. Conventional wisdom says to skim off the foam, but I simply stirred the foam back into the strawberries. You can go either way.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar.
- Keeping the strawberry mixture at a low simmer, remove one lid, ring, and jar from the boiling water at a time. Fill each jar with the strawberry mixture, leaving a half inch head space. Wipe any spills or drips off the jar mouth. Immediately screw place lid and screw on ring.
- Once all jars are filled and sealed, place jars into the boiling water. Process by boiling for 20 minutes. Remove jars from water, placing on kitchen towels.
- After 30-60 minutes all the lids should have popped, indicating they have sealed well. If any jars don’t seal, they can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.