Super similar to last year's triumph with two more additions to the balsamic vinegar: a little lemon juice, and a little vanilla. This isn't a stunt jam. No one will taste it and say, "what did you do to this strawberry jam?!" Each of these ingredients simply bring a little depth or brightness to the party.
Now, you will notice from the photo above that this jam looks runny. It is, indeed, runny. The strawberries were super bursting with delicious fresh-picked-Ontario-strawberries-in-June juiciness. Oh my heart, so incredibly good. I probably should have cooked the jam down further. Or something. I don't know. I definitely didn't want to drain off any of that tastiness. But the flavour is freaking incredible, so I'm keeping the recipe as is and letting the strawberries do their thing. Next year (or next week, or one field over) the strawberries will be different. I kind of love that.
- 6 cups crushed strawberries (it was about 12 cups this year; last year it took more)
- 4 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 pkg (57 g box) light pectin (Certo Light)
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 8 half-pint (250 ml) Mason jars
- 8 snap lids and rings
Directions for cooking and canning:
- Wash your Mason jars in hot soapy water. Rinse well. Since your jam will be boiling in the water bath for 10 minutes, you don't need to pre-sterilize.
- Start heating your water bath now. Add a splash of white vinegar for hard water.
- Wash and hull your berries. (Leave the hulls on for washing or they'll get waterlogged.)
- Mash your berries in layers with a potato masher.
- Combine your packet of pectin with 1/4 cup of the sugar in a small bowl and mix it together well.
- Put your mashed strawberries and sugar/pectin mix in a large pot and bring to boil, stirring frequently.
- Add remaining sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and vanilla, and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly, for one minute. Remove from heat.
- Put the snap lids in hot water to soften. It doesn't have to be boiling.
- Continue to stir your berry mix frequently, skimming foam, for about 5 minutes.
- Quickly ladle hot jam into hot jars, using a wide mouth funnel. Leave 0.5 cm headspace.
- "Bubble" each jar with a skewer or chopstick to release any trapped air. Wipe each rim with a clean paper towel dipped in vinegar. Place the snap lid down and screw the ring on finger tip tight.
- Put the jars into your water bath canner. Make sure there is at least an inch of water above the top of your jars. Put the canner lid on and return to the boil for 10 minutes. Don't start your timer until the water is boiling.
- Remove jars from the canner or let them sit in the canner until everything calms down.