Strawberry Balsamic Jam

One of the sad things about strawberries is how quickly they go to mush after you pick them.  There are a few glorious days of eating perfect berries, then BAM! – mush.  They are too good to toss, even at that point.  Especially when you could make this delicious and super-simple jam with those would-be rejects.  This jam begs for the berries that are just hours from gone.  The more ripe, the better the berry flavor.

In addition to a pound or so of very ripe berries, all you need for this jam is a few tablespoons of sugar, balsamic vinegar and 30 minutes of your precious time.  I have made jams before that are pretty complex and labor-intensive.  This is not so.  Be warned, this creation does not come out like spreadable jell-o like its pectin filled cousins.  In fact, I would put this more in the category of “fresh fruit spread”.  But, all name calling aside, this jam is lovely.

Don’t be afraid of the vinegar addition.  It’s really just there as a balance to the sweetness.  So, instead of a super sweet jam, this one has a touch of tartness.  To me, this is a welcome change.

As I was snapping a few pictures of this jam, I considered setting up a place setting with a pretty folded napkin, a beautiful plate holding a topped piece of toast and a cup of tea on the side.  Then, I laughed at myself.  While it would make for a pretty picture, that’s just not how we roll around here.

We dip our pretzels in jam. (Seriously.  Try it.)

And, we spread it on bread to be the star of our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  On paper plates.  And that is pretty much all.  Just keepin’ it real, friends.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam (from The Pastry Affair)

Printable recipe

– INGREDIENTS –

1 pound of fresh (or frozen) strawberries, diced
3 – 4 Tablespoons of granulated sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

– PREPARATION –

1.  In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the berries, sugar and vinegar to a boil.  Leave the berries chunky, or give them a few pulses with an immersion blender to dial down the texture a bit.

2.  Bring the heat down to low to simmer for 30 minutes until the mixture has thickened into a jam.

3.  Cool before eating.  Store in the refrigerator.

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