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Strawberries Preserves - NO Pectin!

A couple weeks ago my husband and I went to the Sunflower Market opening and managed to be some of the lucky early ones who came home with $50 worth of free goods.  We did have to purchase something, but that wasn't a problem at all.  They had strawberries on sale for 88 CENTS a POUND!  I know - very exciting.  And these weren't those dried up looking kind shipped in from Mexico.  They were grown in California and looked as fresh as a spring morning.  So we came home with 8 pounds.  I spent the rest of the day making strawberry freezer jam.  After two batches of that I wanted something different.  In particular I wanted a recipe that didn't call for pectin because I was nearly out.  After a quick search on the Internet I came across a recipe on Epicurious called Strawberry Preserves with Black Pepper and Balsamic VinegarIt is the most interesting strawberry jam I've ever had.  And I love it!  I love that it is quick, easy, pectin free, somewhat lower in sugar, and an interesting and exciting flavor.

Just as a warning, I made my husband try it as I was cooking it and he turned up his nose at it.  He thought it was too spicy.  After sitting for a day in the fridge, though, it mellowed out and he loves it.  Next time you have too many strawberries for your own good try out this recipe.

To save you some clicking here's a quick copy of the recipe:

Strawberry Preserves with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 cups strawberries diced
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a small, but heavy, pan bring all ingredients to a boil while stirring and occasionally and skimming the surface. Simmer, stirring and skimming occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until thickened jelly like.  Use any method you prefer for knowing when it has gelled.  I usually put a couple spoons in the freezer when I start making jelly, then I can dip the spoon in when I think it's done and if it drips off in just the right way globby and jelly like way, I know it's done. Remove from heat and pour into a jar. If you just cover it and stick it in the fridge it should be good for a month or so.

When I did this batch I think I cooked it for close to 30 minutes.  I'm still learning how to tell when jelly has "set" so cook it as long as you want.  It only made about a pint.  If you make more I'd recommend bottling them in a steamer or water bath, using new lids that will seal completely.

More Strawberry Recipes:
Homemade Fruit Spread
Strawberry Jam (canned)

photo credit


Anonymous said…
i recently did a survey for ben & jerry's and they asked about the appeal of a specialty sundae that had strawberries, balsamic vinegar, etc over ice cream. That was the first time I heard about that combination. I think I would like it.
Great recipe Sarah! I'm gonna try it!! I bought a bunch of strawberries too from Sunflower Market but my kids ate them all...4 lbs! Next sale :)

Ben & Jerry's! Cooooooool I would try that too! Hard to go wrong over ice cream. :)
sherry said…
I've had a balsamic vinegar strawberry topping on vanilla ice cream. It WAS awesome! I think that's why I dared make that jelly.

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