Strawberry jam infused with black pepper. A surprise in every bite. Recipe credit: Christie Maggi, Kitchen Conservatory in St. Louis, MO
2poundsfresh strawberries - cleaned and hulled
juice of 1 lemon -opt.
Prepare jelly/jam jars by placing the jar and lids in boiling water for 10 minutes then turn down the heat and let simmer until the jam is ready.
Place strawberries in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Mash strawberries with a potato masher or fork.
Add sugar, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and lemon juice (opt.) then mix well.
Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Turn heat to high until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Stir often.
Turn the heat down but boil mixture until it reaches 220F on a candy thermometer. Watch closely and stir often.
Remove and drain the jars and lids from the hot water with tongs.
Transfer jam to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, then seal with the lids. Process in a water bath if not eating immediately. Read here for more info on canning preserves: Ball Traditional Strawberry Jam
If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, just refrigerate.