Berries were on sale today, so I bought some extra to try out a recipe and make some small batch jam. I usually like to buy berries on sale to freeze to use when I make berry tarts for my potluck loving co-workers. There really is no such thing as extra berries actually. The berries we get in our CSA boxes barely last the trip home, according to some share members. They are the best travelling snack!
This jam can be made with any combination of berries. This recipe makes 2 cups of jam. It is tart and sweet at the same time. I like it with cold chicken in a sandwich or on the side with roasted meat. Give it a go with peanut butter on toast. It is perfect on a cracker with cheese for a snack or charcuterie hor d’oeuvres. I put mine in tiny yogurt jars to give as gifts to friends.
MAPLE BERRY JAM
5 cups of berries (I used 2 6oz boxes Blackberries and 13oz Strawberries
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 good squirt of lime or lemon juice.
In a saucepan, put all ingredients. Chop the strawberries in quarters. Use a wooden spoon to mash the berries as they cook. Bring all to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer stirring often. Cook for 40 minutes.
Jam is done if it sticks to the wooden spoon and slowly runs off. Alternatively, place a small dish in the freezer for 15 minutes. Place a tiny amount of jam in the centre of the dish and wait a minute. Take your finger and draw a line through the jam. If the jam does not run back towards the centre it is ready or “set”.
Place jam in jars and let cool at room temperature. Store in fridge or freeze what you think you may not consume within 2 weeks.
If your jam turns out to be runny, consider this to be not a failure but an amazing topping for ice cream or stir into yogurt for a yummy dessert…
Want to make a syrup for mixed drinks? Simmer this mixture for 20 minutes, strain through a fine mesh metal strainer and place in the fridge for cocktails and iced teas or freeze if using it later than 2 weeks. Leftover fruit can be used again with yogurt or creme fresh and crackers.