When I stroll around the produce section these days, the experience is often a little bit grim. Everything seems to be flown in from Chile or Guatemala and looks like it walked the whole way by itself. So when I saw the heaps and heaps of local Florida strawberries for cheap, I stocked up. Several of the strawberries were overripe, and this is one of the best uses I’ve found for overripe berries. The best part about this jam is there’s no canning involved (hence the name “refrigerator jam,”) so if canning freaks you out, this is the recipe for you. Here’s how to do it:
Note: It is critical that you use a quality aged balsamic here, which will have a sweeter syrupy flavor than a cheap balsamic.
Yield: About 1 cup of jam
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 lb strawberries, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup sugar to 1/2 cup, depends on sweetness of your strawberries
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar (I did a 15 year BR Cohn balsamic)
Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberries, and sugar in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. It will look really watery at first, but it will start to thicken up as it reduces. Once you have the thickness you want, reduce the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar. Cook for 3 more minutes, then place your jam in a clean glass container. Refrigerate, and spread on biscuits, toast, or whatever you’d like. Enjoy!
Note: The jam should keep for about a week, though I can’t confirm this because mine always gets devoured within a couple of days.