I only made this jam last weekend and it’s already half gone. This means that in the last week I have (practically all by myself) consumed almost two cups of jam. Maybe that is information I should be keeping to myself. I mean, that’s a lot of jam. I’m putting it on anything and everything, and I’ve even eaten it straight from the jar with a spoon.
The fact that it’s nearly gone is a huge bummer. I know I’m not the first person to put a vanilla bean in strawberry jam, but the first time I did, it was like I had struck gold.
Traditional strawberry jam is a delight, but the addition of a vanilla bean and splash of balsamic vinegar takes it to a whole new level. It’s reinvented. It’s almost like candy. I’ve made this recipe several times now and I don’t think I’ll ever use another recipe again.
Jam is a lot easier to make than you may think. All it involves is simmering fruit, sugar, and a few other ingredients for an hour or so until thickened. Canning jam in jars is the best method for long term storage, but I often just freeze or refrigerate it if I know it will be consumed quickly. If you’re looking to keep things simple, this is the way to go. But if you’re interested in canning, I’ve found that Joy of Cooking: All About Canning & Preserving is a helpful book for beginners.
I love making jam in the summer from the fresh berries of the season, but in the past I’ve often had to give a lot of it away to keep it from sitting unopened in my pantry. Not with this jam. I’m having no problem enjoying every last spoonful.
- 2 pounds (900 grams) strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ¼ cup (60 milliliters) fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Use a large fork to smash the berries to break them up into smaller chunks. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 1 hour. Skim foam off of the top, remove vanilla bean pod, and spoon into desired storage container(s).
- If canning, use sterilized jars and boil filled jars for 10 minutes. Canned jam will store for up to one year at room temperature. Jam stored in the freezer will keep for several months. Jam stored in the fridge will keep for several weeks.
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