For bright strawberry flavor with a little something extra, it is hard to beat these strawberry balsamic preserves.

Made with only three ingredients, you will want to enter your state fair’s jam competition with this recipe, and you just might win!

You may also want to take a look at my mixed berry jam, which sees strawberries joining forces with both raspberries and blueberries. And for a brighter red color balanced with lemon, try my French-style strawberry preserves. For ease of browsing, you can find all my condiment and jam recipes in one place.

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A jar of deep, ruby red strawberry preserves on a small plate with a cruet of balsamic vinegar an d some whole strawberries in the background.

For ease of browsing, find all my condiment and jams recipes in one place. Let’s get straight to it.

Five stars absolutely. Dramatic clear color, stunningly deep, bright flavor and
the taste has just the right amount of “je ne sais quoi ” to the product. The mystery
of the balsamic vinegar will be kept!! sssssshhhhhhhh.

Reader Diane

At a Glance

✅Skill Level: Beginner
✅Skills: Dicing Fruit, Simmering
✅Type: Fruit Preserve
✅Number of Ingredients: 3
✅Prep Time: 5 minutes
✅Cook Time: 30 minutes
✅Yield: 1 pint

Jump Straight to the Recipe

Tasting Notes

When I first tasted these preserves after my first recipe test, I knew I didn’t need any further testing. It is almost shocking how fruity, sweet, and tangy these preserves are.

Think of your favorite strawberry jam, and then add the sweet tang of vinegar, and that will approximate what to expect from this recipe.

If this sounds like a winner to you and you end up making it, please do me a quick favor, if you would.

When you do make this recipe, it will help me and other readers if you:
✅Rate the recipes using the stars in the recipe card⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Thank you so much!😘

Ingredients and Substitutions

I made a collage for you, and it just looks like it’s missing something. But I promise, there really are only three ingredients!

Labeled images of the three ingredients for making strawberry balsamic preserves shot against a white background: fresh strawberries, granulated sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
  • strawberries: Fresh strawberries are the name of the game. They will hold their shape during cooking and, more importantly, will be easy to cut into pieces before you start cooking
  • granulated sugar: Provides the bulk of the sweetness and allows a syrup to form
  • balsamic vinegar: Deepens the flavor and color while adding a beautiful tangy element. If you want the tang and a brighter color, use white balsamic vinegar instead

Procedure

If you’ve made preserves before and don’t need additional instruction, you can head straight to the recipe.

For the rest of you, let’s walk through the procedure which is really pretty straightforward.

First, slice your berries into reasonable pieces. I went with roughly 1/2″ dice. The size you cut them is entirely up to you. I cut huge strawberries in about 12 pieces and smaller berries into around 6-8 pieces. If you have some very small berries, you can even leave them whole.

Once you have your berries cut up how you want them, the rest is easy. I weigh the sugar and balsamic directly into the pot with the berries.

Heat over lowest heat for 30 minutes, let the mixture sit at room temperature for an hour or two if you have the time. Otherwise, after 30 minutes, increase the heat to medium, and bring everything to a boil.

Reduce the heat to maintain a low boil/high simmer, and skim off any brownish balsamic scum and reddish foamy stuff from the berries.

Cook the fruit until the syrup reaches 223F. This is the Magic Jam-And-Preserves Temperature. It will yield a thick syrup so it won’t run all over the place. And in jams, it gives you the ability to spread it out and have it stay put without the need for pectin.

Here’s the instant-read thermometer I use and love:

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07/22/2024 08:43 am GMT

Here’s a little photo collage for you:

A collage for 4 images: 1)Diced strawberries and sugar in a metal pan. 2)The sugar and berries stirred together with balsamic vinegar. 3)The simmering preserves in a pan. 4)A white ramekin with some dark, foamy "stuff" skimmed off the top of the jam in it.

Jenni Says: This jam gets very foamy when cooking, so take time and skim off as much of it as you can, leaving as much syrup as possible in the pan. There was a LOT more foam to be skimmed off than what I show in this photo.

Recipe Variations (Make It Fancy)

Strawberry balsamic preserves are already pretty fancy, but you could always add an herbal element such as basil or a judicious amount of rosemary.

Adding a bit of black pepper will lend a bit of a bite on the back end, and adding a bit of minced chipotle will yield a smoky, spicy preserve.

For a brigher version of this flavor profile (strawberry and balsamic) see my juicy strawberry syrup recipe. You can also use these preserves in my strawberry balsamie brownie recipe.

A Little Preserves Q & A

An overhead shot of a square white plate with a toasted piece of artisan bread spread with a thick layer of preserves. There is a small white bowl of preserves and a spreader on the plate as well as a whole, fresh strawberry.
What is the difference between a jam and a preserve?

Jams are made with mashed fruit, and preserves are made from either whole fruit or fruit cut in large dice. While jam is a more-or-less consistent blend of spreadable fruit, a preserve consists of pieces of fruit suspended in a thick syrup.

What if I overshoot 223F?

The jam will taste a bit more “cooked” and less like fresh strawberries. It will also be a bit thicker and the syrup will be stickier. It will not be the end of the world if you take it to 225F, but 223F is the magic number, especially for a preserve or jam made without added pectin.

How long will it keep?

Keep tightly covered and refrigerated, and your preserves will stay good for about 4 weeks. I imagine you will finish them well before, though.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this post or recipe, I am happy to help.

Simply leave a comment here and I will get back to you soon. I also invite you to ask question in my Facebook group, Fearless Kitchen Fun.

If your question is more pressing, please feel free to email me. I should be back in touch ASAP, as long as I’m not asleep.

A Note About Measurements

My recipes are almost all written by weight, including liquids, unless otherwise specified.

For accuracy and consistency of results, I encourage you to buy–and use–a kitchen scale.

I promise that baking and cleanup will be so much quicker and easier.

This is the scale that I recommend for home use. I have owned and used one for years.

Best for Home Use
Escali Primo Digital Food Scale
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Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.

Purchase Now How & Why to Use a Kitchen Scale
This is an affiliate link which means I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is unaffected.
07/22/2024 07:15 am GMT

Love This? Please Take a Moment to Rate and Review

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A toasted piece of rustic bread, spread with butter and a thick layer of deep red strawberry balsamic preserves and then sliced in half on a plate.

Strawberry Balsamic Preserves

Jennifer Field
Strawberry balsamic preserves are equal parts sweet and tangy. With chunks of ripe strawberries swimming in a deep red, sticky syrup, this is the preserves your toast has been waiting for. The balsamic not only deepens the color of the preserves, but it also imparts a gorgeous zing balanced by sweet. Incredibly delicious, and with only 3 ingredients, it's hard to beat for ease of making.
5 from 2 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Macerating Time 1 hour
Course Condiments and Jams
Cuisine French-Inspired
Servings 16 servings
Calories 97 kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz fresh strawberries 1/2" dice, 454 grams or 2 pints
  • 12 oz granulated sugar 340 grams or about 1 3/4 cups
  • 4 oz balsamic vinegar not balsamic glaze, 113 grams or 1/2 cup

Instructions
 

  • Wash, top, and dice the strawberries into roughly 1/2" dice.
  • Add the sugar and vinegar, and heat over the lowest heat for 30 minutes. This will be enough time to dissolve the sugar and get it hot without boiling. Stir well.
  • If you have the time, remove from heat and let the berry mixture sit at room temperature for an hour or two. If not, carry on.
  • After the rest (or not), heat over medium heat until the berries come to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep at a gentle boil, skimming as much scum from the preserves as you can.
  • Continue to boil gently, stirring frequently but gently so you don't break up the pieces of strawberry, until the temperature reaches 223F.
  • Pour the preserves into a 16 oz jar or two 8 oz jars. Cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

You can scale these preserves to work for however many strawberries you have. For each pound (16 oz) of berries, you need 1/4 pound (4 oz) of balsamic vinegar and 3/4 pound (12 oz) of sugar.

Make Jam Instead

If you prefer jam to preserves, cut berries in half or leave them whole, and heat them with the balsamic and sugar, mashing the berries as completely as you want as they soften.
All other instructions remain the same, but your result will be a thick jam of spreadable texture rather than small chunks of fruit in syrup. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1ozCalories: 97kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.004gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 52mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword strawberries
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

And there you have it. I really hope you enjoy the fancy but easy-to-make strawberry preserves.

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m delighted with this recipe! I made it using balsamic vinegar produced at a vinyard right here on Vancouver Island. It turned out beautifully. Today, I’m going to use it to dress up a quarter batch of your broiled goat cheese crostini . Together with a salad, they’ll be supper tonight, with enough leftover for a crostini lunch tomorrow.

  2. 5 stars
    five stars absolutely. Dramatic clear color, stunningly deep, bright flavor and
    the taste has just the right amount of “je ne sais quoi ” to the product. The mystery
    of the balsamic vinegar will be kept!! sssssshhhhhhhh. Joy, Diane

5 from 2 votes

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