Balsamic Vinegar Jams are low-sugar or low-honey cooked jams contributed by Becky Hoff of Harmony, Minnesota, and made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.
Becky says: “I have jammed exclusively with Pomona’s Pectin for many years, but just this past year I’ve begun experimenting with adding balsamic vinegar to my batches of jam. The tartness of the vinegar subtly balances the flavor of the jam, bringing out the complexities of the fruit. Balsamic Vinegar Jams are not a sour or overly acidic finished product, simply a well-rounded, delicious batch of jam!”
“I do tend to use the higher recommended amount of sugar when jamming with balsamic vinegar. Plain or infused balsamic vinegars can both be used successfully. Try plain balsamic vinegar in your blueberry or raspberry jam, both are delicious!”
“For flavored vinegars, Lavender Balsamic Vinegar paired beautifully with strawberries. Blackberry-Ginger Balsamic Vinegar in Peach Jam is definitely a winning flavor combination!”
“A word to the wise: dark balsamic vinegar added to light colored fruit will make brown jam. In hindsight I would have used a white balsamic vinegar in my peach jam if I’d had some readily available.”
Balsamic Vinegar Jams Ingredients
Follow the basic recipe on the Direction and Recipe sheet that comes with the pectin for whatever fruit you want to work with to create a Balsamic Vinegar Jam.
You will be adding 1 Tablespoon (or less) of balsamic vinegar for each cup of mashed fruit in your recipe. Select a good quality balsamic vinegar — either plain balsamic or a flavored balsamic, like Lavender Balsamic, Fig Balsamic, or Blackberry-Ginger Balsamic.
If your recipe calls for lemon or lime juice, be sure to add the full amount of lemon or lime juice in addition to the amount of balsamic vinegar you choose. This is to be absolutely sure the jam is acid enough to be safe for water bath canning. Even if your balsamic vinegar is at 5% acidity, balsamic vinegar is less acid than lemon or lime juice.
Balsamic Vinegar Jams Directions
1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
2. Put measured amount of mashed fruit into sauce pan.
3. Add calcium water, lemon or lime juice if called for, and balsamic vinegar, and mix well.
4. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.
5. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
6. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.
Becky’s final words: “As summer gives way to fall I will continue with my Balsamic Vinegar Jam experiments, and I will certainly share any new favorite recipes! (Right now, Strawberry with Lavender Balsamic is at the top of my list!) I would love for other readers to comment on what they like to do to make their jam recipes sing!
For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.
Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.