The first time I made this recipe, it turned out perfectly. I was hanging out with a friend and we found a great recipe from a fellow blogger and decided to make jam just for fun. We spent most of the time gossiping and honestly were not paying that much attention.  The second time I attempted to make this recipe was as a gift for my future parents-in-law. Talk about a stressful situation! It was the first time I was going to meet them and I wanted the jam to be perfect. Of course, in the process, I managed to bump my head, slam my finger in a drawer and burn myself.

I definitely believe in the Like Water for Chocolate concept, and needless to say, the jam turned out terrible. It was bitter and the consistency was completely off. Obviously, my emotions had transferred into my cooking. I had to throw out the whole batch and start from scratch. Thank goodness the next batch was delicious!

I love this recipe, and it makes such a beautiful gift. The balsamic vinegar really brings out an intense strawberry flavor and the jam is made without any added pectin or artificial ingredients. This recipe makes 5 jars of jam.

  • 4 lbs strawberries, quartered
  • 2 cups rapadura
  • 4 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 5 Quilted Crystal Jelly Jars (8 oz)
  • You will need two large pots: one for making the jam and one for sterilizing the jars

Toss the strawberries with the rapadura and lemon juice in a big bowl. Let the mixture sit for one hour at room temperature until properly macerated.

Fill a large pot with water. Place 5 jar lids at the bottom of the pot to protect the jars from breaking
against the hot bottom of the pot. Place five jars on top of the lids filling them with water so they sink. They should be fully immersed in water. Add the rims to the pot and then bring the water to a boil.

Place a small plate into the refrigerator to chill. This will be used to test the jam consistency later.

On another burner, heat the strawberry mixture with the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Using a potato masher, mash the strawberries so they are fairly smooth. If you like a thinner jam, you can use an immersion blender. Continue to boil the mixture, stirring frequently and skimming off the foam that rises to the top for approximately 20 minutes.

Reduce heat and cook at a slow boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching as jam thickens. This may take 35 minutes to 1 hour. Test the jam by placing a small spoonful of it onto the chilled plate and refrigerate 1 minute. Tilt plate and if the jam stays put, it is done!

Drain jars on a clean dish towel. Ladle the jam into the jars leaving 1/4 inch room between the jam and the top of the jar. Remove lids from the boiling water with tongs making sure you do not touch the outer rim of the jar and contaminate the sterilized jars. Screw rims onto jam jars. Using tongs, pick up the full jam jars and place them back into the boiling water for 5 minutes making sure they rest on their lids so they do not crack.

After 5 minutes, remove the jars and place them on the towel. You should hear a ping type noise which tells you the jam jars are sealed. Once you hear that, tighten the rims and let the jam rest in the refrigerator for one day before eating.

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Kalie said...

Love your blog! Hope it worked out with the in-laws!!!!

Julia said...

This looks so yummy! Can't wait to try it. I love anything with Balsamic vinegar really. And I love sweet and savory combos. Yumyum!

The Chickenless Chick said...

I feel your pain! My in-laws include a number of intimidating French- and Italian-trained cooks. This sounds like just the right solution: simple yet delicious, with a smidge "time-consuming" thrown into the mix to let them know you care ;)

NMOS said...

That strawberry balsamic jam sounds great. You should try mixing it in with a chocolate dessert. Maybe a dark chocolate. I reviewed a local Seattle chocolate factory (Theo Chocolates) a couple of postings ago that does such a thing.....mixing interesting flavors with chocolate. Feel free to check it out my food blog, Om Nom Nom Nom, over at Nice blog, by the way.


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