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5 from 4 votes
Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam - oh my, this stuff is amazing! It's sweet, spicy and super delicious!
Easy Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam
Prep Time
9 hrs 12 mins
Cook Time
9 hrs 12 mins
Easy Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam - This flavor combination is amazing! It's sweet, spicy and super delicious as an appetizer, in sandwiches, on pizza, as glaze for grilled chicken, fish, pork....
Course: Jams and Jellies
Author: Chris Scheuer
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries This is about how many berries you'll need, see exact measurement below
  • 1 packet pouch liquid fruit pectin (I use Certo which is a liquid pectin but you can also use SureJell, a powdered pectin, just follow the instructions inside the box for freezer jam.
  • ¼ cup good quality balsamic vinegar*
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper don't use ground pepper, it will make your jam look muddy
  1. Wash and rinse glass** or plastic containers and lids in the dishwasher or with hot soapy water. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Measure exactly*** 4 cups of sugar into a medium-size bowl.
  3. Stem and crush strawberries. Don't try to use a blender or food processor for this step, as you want some small pieces of strawberry to remain (I like to use a potato masher). Measure exactly** 2 cups prepared fruit into large microwave-safe bowl.
  4. Stir in sugar till thoroughly combined. Place bowl in microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir well.
  5. Add balsamic vinegar to strawberry mixture and stir. Add liquid pectin and stir continuously for 3 minutes. Take a taste to make sure the sugar is dissolved. If it still tastes a bit grainy, stir for another minute or two until almost all sugar is dissolved. Add pepper and stir till combined.
  6. Fill containers immediately (you don't want jam to start to "set" before you get it into the jars) to within ½ inch of top. Don't fill any higher as mixture will expand a bit in the freezer. Wipe off top edges of containers and cover with lids.
  7. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. (I love the look of beautiful, vibrant red jam stacked up on my kitchen counter - call me old-fashioned, but there's something about it that makes me smile.) Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

*Balsamic vinegar can be crazy expensive. I'm not talking about the $200 per bottle kind. Actually America's Test Kitchen did a taste taste of grocery store balsamic vinegars and the winner was the "365" vinegar sold at Whole Foods. Trader Joe's also has a great 12 year aged balsamic.
**Don't worry about putting glass jars in the freezer. I've done this for many years and never have had a problem. :) Just make sure to leave a half inch of room at the top to allow for expanding in the freezer.
And speaking of glass jars, I have a few favorites. Have you seen these charming Weck Jars? They are wonderful for gifting your jams, jellies and other canned goods. I also love these Quattro Stagioni jars.
***Making jam is a very exact science. Often when I cook, I add a "bit" of this or a "dash" of that - but not when making jam. If the proportions of fruit and sugar are not correct, the jam will not set properly. I learned this many years ago the hard way; instead of jam, I ended up with a soupy sauce that was only suitable for topping ice cream. Be sure to use an accurate measuring cup, spoon ingredients into cup, then level off with a straight-edged table knife.
Grab a magazine and set a timer for the stirring steps. Thorough stirring is essential when making freezer jam to ensure a smooth, not "grainy" finished product.Scrape the sides of the bowl frequently during the stirring process.
Yield: about 5 cups of jam