I am so indecisive. When I brought home my 11 pounds of strawberries this weekend, I just could not for the life of me decide how to use them. A batch of strawberry red wine jam was an obvious choice, as was two or three big batches of plain strawberry jam for a big project I’m working on. But I had too many ideas and too few strawberries for the remainder. So naturally, I turned to the Savvy Eats Facebook page to get your input. The choices:
1. Strawberry chipotle jam
2. Strawberry black pepper preserves
3. Strawberry balsamic preserves
The votes came out to be fairly evenly split between the last two, so I decided that I simply wouldn’t decide – I’d combine them into one preserve!
In these strawberry preserves, balsamic vinegar adds a depth to the sweetness, while the black pepper adds a little heat at the end of each spoonful.
- 3 pounds strawberries, washed and hulled
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Gently stir the strawberries and sugar together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, prepare for canning. Wash the jars and flat lids with hot, soapy water. Put the jars in the canning pot and cover with hot water. Heat over high heat to keep the jars hot. Place the lids in a heat-proof bowl.
- By now, the strawberries will have released a lot of juices. Pour the berries and all the accumulated juices into a large saucepan, making sure to scrape any sugar out of the bottom of the container. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, then pour the berries into a colander set over a large bowl.
- Return the juice to the saucepan and boil for 15 minutes to reduce.
- Add the berries, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar to the saucepan, and cook, stirring often, until the preserves are 220F. Skim off the foam every few minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the black pepper.
- Move some of the boiling water from the canning pot into the heat-proof bowl containing the lids. Line the hot jars up on a folded towel, then pour the water out of the heat-proof bowl and off the lids.
- Fill the jars up to 1/4” below the rim. Use a clean towel to wipe any preserves off the rims, then top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring. Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Place the jars on a folded towel and allow to sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.