Strawberry Basil Balsamic Jam

Strawberries and basil

Strawberries and basil

This Strawberry Basil Balsamic Jam captures the essence of fresh summer fruit. It is easy to make, it just takes some time.

You can store this jam in the refrigerator or you can process it using a safe water-bath canning method to store it in the pantry for up to 1 year.

Try to hide a jar in the back of the cabinet for a cold winter night in January or February or if you get snowed in. Pour it over some goat cheese, toast up some great bread, slice an apple and summer will come alive again in your mouth.

if you are one of those who think strawberry jam is far too sweet, try this one. The herbal element as well as the complex acid from the balsamic really takes a plain strawberry jam and turns it into an amazing treat.

Leaving the strawberries whole, this creates a delicious strawberry compote perfect for desserts, ice cream and goat or cream cheese. Puree the berries for a more jam like consistency.

Strawberry Basil Balsamic Jam

  • 1# fresh strawberries, stemmed and cleaned; cut as desired
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • pinch of kosher salt

Combine the berries with the sugar and large sprigs of basil. Stir well. Allow to marinade for 2 hours, stir often. You will notice the sugar will melt and there will be considerable syrup in the bowl.

Place this into a heavy bottomed stainless pot, add the balsamic vinegar, turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Then the mixture boils, skim any foam that forms on the surface.

Reduce the heat and simmer actively until the mixture thickens to the desired consistency, about 20 minutes.

Place a plate in the freezer. Once cold, pour a spoonful of hot jam onto the plate and replace it in the freezer until the jam cools.

Run your finger through the cooled jam. If it remains separated and does not run or run back together, it will maintain a jam like consistency. If not, keep cooking longer. Chill some down to really evaluate the consistency. Even if it remains a bit runny, it makes great syrup and dessert sauce. The flavor is so delicious!

Ladle the hot jam into hot sterilized jars, cap and either process in a water-bath canner to store at room temperature or refrigerate once the jars cool.

I am not an expert canner so I would advise following expert advice on how to process your jars in a water-bath canner. I do know that if you use a pressure canner, you will have mushy fruit, so be sure to only use a water bath canner or a “granny bath” – I love that term!

This jam has a lovely complex flavor. We find it delightful on toast, over oatmeal or French toast, we even enjoy it on cheese platters with a glass of wine in the evening.

I packed some in small 4 ounce jars so they would be easy to take just a few servings on picnics, tailgating or on the go meals.Compotes on cheese platter

Make some before all the summer berries are gone! Those of you in climates just warming into your Summer, make this with the fresh berries, you’ll be glad you did!

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Pâté de Fruit et “Pâté du Vin”

These gleaming tender fruit gems known as “Pâté de Fruit” are delicious and irresistible. There are so many different recipes for these fruit geleés. If you want a real quality product, use a recipe that includes glucose syrup and pectin rather than gelatin.

These are considered quite a special gift and if purchased, this quality could be expensive.

Remember “Chuckles” candy from your childhood? Those are similar to fruit geleé but they had gelatin.

Gelatin, in my opinion, leaves the geleés much too “tough” and bouncy. The whole concept is for the geleé to have a slight tooth that melts into a pool of exploding fruit or wine flavor. There should be nothing to chew, just a lovely melting in your mouth and the slight crunch of the coating sugar.

The actual time required to make these isn’t much but it needs your full attention for about 20-30 minutes.

You have to whisk constantly while the mixture is on the heat. Then act fast after you remove it from the heat because the geleé mixture sets quickly.

Have everything you need ready to pour. After you pour the cooked mixture into the desired mold, let it sit for at least 8 hours, or longer, to set.

Do not refrigerate. Refrigeration will melt the sugar on the geleés.

So, Here’s how you do it

Please weigh all ingredients.

If you don’t have a small digital scale, go buy one. It is essential if you are serious about baking. They are not expensive but you can pay as much as you want to for one.

Wine or Fruit Geleé “Pâté de Vin/Fruit”

  • 3 ounces unsweetened applesauce
    • Spread it out on a parchment lined sheet pan. Place it in a preheated 200°F oven for 30 minutes. This is to evaporate some of the moisture out of the applesauce. Scrape it up with a bench scraper or spatula and put it into a heavy bottomed sauce pan with the following ingredients:
  • 8 ounces wine OR smooth and strained fruit puree (raspberry, strawberry, mango, passion fruit, pineapple, etc.)
  • 1 ounce light Karo syrup made without High Fructose Corn Syrup or use glucose syrup
  • One  3-ounce package liquid pectin or 3 ounces powdered pectin (not the one for low sugar)
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar for dusting the finished geleé

While applesauce is drying in the oven, prepare the mold you want to use. Spray it with non-stick pan spray or line it with parchment paper. Leave an overhang to make removing the geleé from the pan easy.

Blend the wine or fruit puree with the applesauce, syrup, liquid pectin in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.

If using powdered pectin, mix it with a small amount of the sugar to help prevent clumping.

Over high heat, while whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.

Add half of the sugar, once it melts and nears boiling, add the remaining sugar.

Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Whisk constantly to avoid scorching and clumping.

Add the lemon juice.

Working quickly, pour into desired molds, smooth with a spatula, cover with an oiled parchment paper and let sit for 8-12 hours.

If you made one pan, remove the geleé to a cutting board and cut into desired shapes.

If you used candy or silicone molds remove them carefully from the molds.

Dip each geleé into sugar to coat. Serve or place in an airtight container and hold them at room temperature for several months.

If you like these and enjoy making fruit geleés, check out  Passion Fruit Geleés by Savory Simple.

Our recipes area similar and she has cups and tablespoon measurements on her recipe for Passion Fruit Geleé.

Enjoy making and eating these tender morsels of Pâté de Fruit or Pâté de Vin. I think they are quite special.