I tasted this jam a couple weeks ago from a vendor at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market in Washington DC and it blew my socks off! I had to come home and recreate it IMMEDIATELY!
Nothing quite brings out every molecule of flavor from a strawberry like balsamic vinegar. The addition of jalapeno peppers adds a lovely spicy kick at the end. These jams would be great with a wedge of brie, slathered on a turkey sandwich, or melted and served over ice cream.
I provide one recipe for two jams. If you don't want spicy jam, simply leave out the jalapeno peppers!
Try to use locally grown organic strawberries if you can, the flavor is incomparable. We picked our own at the legendary Volmer Farms in Bunn, NC.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam and Strawberry Jalapeno Jam
(makes 4 pints)
4 cups crushed fresh strawberries
1 cup minced jalapeno pepper (with seeds) OR add one more cup crushed strawberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 oz. powdered pectin
7 cups granulated sugar
Everything mixed, except sugar, and ready to be cooked
Combine everything EXCEPT SUGAR in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Sugar will impede the development of the pectin and if you add it too early you will have runny jam. Once everything has come to a boil, let it cook on high for a full minute, THEN ADD SUGAR and stir until dissolved and mixture returns to a boil.
Sterilize jars, rings and lids by submerging in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain jars upside down on a clean towel. leave lids and rings in hot water until ready to use.
Fill hot jars with jam until 1/4 inch from the top of the jar. Wipe edges clean if there are any splatters. Top each jar with a lid and then screw on a ring until just finger tight.
Re-submerge filled sealed jars in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool to room temperature. Lids should make a "pop" sound as they cool. Jam can be kept at room temperature until opened, then keep in refrigerator.
Freshly sterilized jars of jam ready to be put up for winter!