Strawberry Preserves with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar

Strawberry jam in a glass jar and fresh strawberries

This piquant preserve is delicious spread on top of goat cheese on crostini and makes a great hors d’oeuvre. It is equally delicious on cheese or savory scones.

INGREDIENTS:

5 cups crushed strawberries (about 5 lbs)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons good quality, aged Balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons pectin (powdered pectin, like Ball)
7 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

METHOD:

Fill water canner with water and bring to a boil.

Sterilize jars and lids and set aside until ready to use.

Combine strawberries, lemon juice and Balsamic vinegar 8-quart saucepan. Stir in pectin. until thoroughly combined. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.

Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in freshly ground pepper. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.

Ladle mixture hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.