Janna’s favorite jam is strawberry, so of course, I made a batch. But I’ve done the plain strawberry jam before, and while it comes out nice, it’s a little too sweet and one-note for my taste. I adapted a recipe from the inspiring Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone.

I used a few strawberries from the back yard, but most were store bought.

This jam is surprisingly simple:

Strawberry Balsamic Conserve
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled
5 cups sugar
5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar – use the good stuff here
1 package of pectin (this isn’t part of the book’s recipe, but I wanted a firmer set.)

Most of the strawberries I used were fairly large, so I halved or quartered them – still leaving fairly large pieces. If you happen to have those tiny, sweet Alpine strawberries, this would be a perfect use for those you can’t eat right away.

Cook the strawberries over medium heat until they boil. You don’t want to mash them – you’re looking for nice large pieces of fruit in the final product. Then add the sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cook on medium low for 10 minutes (the book’s recipe calls for 40, but it leaves out pectin, so the extra cooking time is for thickening.) Add in the pectin and balsamic vinegar, bring back to a boil and cook for one minute.  

Ladle into sterile jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head room. Seal with sterile lids and rings, and process in boiling water for 10  minutes. The set on this conserve takes about two days – at first, it’s very runny inside the jars, but it firms up to a medium set.

Really delicious! The recipe yielded five half pints of conserve.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam.

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