Strawberry Black Pepper Preserves

Strawberry & pepper, a flavor paradox

Strawberries have an ugly side. You'll recognize the one when you flip open a box to inspect a gray furry berry nestled among the bursting red ones. The clock is ticking on that box of berries. Use or lose the rest. Preserving you strawberries is an excellent option for stopping the clock on Spring's freshest strawberries. A little jar of strawberry pepper jam is a sweet, savory, creeping towards spicy way to add a dab of strawberries on cracker, toast, muffins, peanut or almond butter, cheeses or top pork, chicken for a few extra months.

Strawberry Black Pepper Preserves

1 qt strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper, finely ground
1 cup brown sugar

Place strawberries, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. After 5 minutes break up berries with a potato masher or fork.

More than enough

Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick, stirring often. The preserves are ready when you feel resistance against the spoon when you stirred. Or put a spoonful in small bowl and allow to rest for 5 minutes. The semi-cooled preserves should look gelled, and cling to the sides of the bowl, not pool on the bottom. Remove from heat, and cool. Will keep covered in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks.

Snacky with goat cheese and crackers

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