It’s strawberry pickin’ time and I have a fabulous recipe for canning Strawberry Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam. In addition, I have a troubleshooting tip for you on how to distribute floating fruit throughout your preserves. Don’t be intimidated, this jam is easy!
I have been trying to get to a local “you pick ’em” farm to pick my own strawberries for a couple of weeks now. Every single time I plan to go the next day, it has either rained during the night, it’s raining that day, or there hasn’t been enough sunshine to make the berries really sweet.
When you’ve had a recent rain, without sunshine, the berries are juicy but lack that sweetness that only sunshine will impart to them. Fortunately for me, my friend Sam has an enormous, beautiful garden and a huge strawberry patch. She sent me a message recently and asked if I was interested in any strawberries, since she had just picked six gallons. Of course, I was thrilled!
This jam has been on my mind since last year and I was anxious to see if my idea for it would work. So, I took the strawberries that Sam gave me and turned them into the most incredible jam, y’all! This jam is the berries! *big smile*
And it’s easy! But…strawberries are notorious for floating to the top of the jam jar. And mine did. So, that gave me the opportunity to show you how to distribute your fruit throughout your jam! Here’s what mine looked like when it first came out of the canner:
See how all the strawberries and onions are at the top of the jar? Well, here’s what I do. Once all of the jars have popped to seal I wait about an hour. It takes anywhere from 24-48 hours for the pectin in the jam to fully activate, so you’ve got time as it starts to thicken. Once the jars are sealed and cooled completely, I start rotating them in 30 minute cycles, turning the jars first upside down for 30 minutes, then back upright for 30 minutes, shaking the contents a bit to move the berries. With this batch, I continued to do that until the next day. By then, the jam was thick enough to hold the berries and onions suspended all throughout.
This is what they looked like after the strawberries and onions were distributed through the jam:
That’s all there is to fixing that little dilemma!
I can’t wait to use this jam in all the ways I have been dreaming of since last year’s strawberry season. While the strawberries are at their peak, I hope you’ll try this too!
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar, reduced over high heat until ¼ cup remains
- 4 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed, crushed
- 2 cups thinly sliced sweet onion (such as Vidalia)
- 1 - 1.75 ounce box powdered fruit pectin
- 7 cups granulated sugar
- Sterilize your jars and lids in boiling water.
- In a large pot, over high heat, add the strawberries, onions and the pectin.
- Bring to a full rolling boil. This means that the liquid will not stop bubbling when you stir it.
- Add the sugar and reduced balsamic vinegar and return to a full rolling boil for one minute.
- Remove the pot from the heat.
- Carefully skim off any foam from the top of the mixture and discard it.
- Ladle the jam into your hot jars, you want them filled to within ¼" of the top rim.
- Be sure to wipe the top rim of the jars with a very hot cloth to remove any jam that may have spilled onto them.
- Cover each jar with a lid and a ring.
- Place the jars into your canning pot with at least an inch of water above the tops of the jars, Cover the canning pot and bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water has begun to boil, start your timer for 10 minutes.
- After ten minutes, turn off the heat, remove the lid from the canning pot and allow the jars to rest in the hot water for 5 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the canning pot onto a cushioned surface (I place a kitchen towel down on the counter).
- Allow the cans to cool completely. The lids will pop when they seal.