How Gordon Ramsay Elevates His Quick Homemade Strawberry Jam

Jam can be made from just about anything. From classic flavors like peach, strawberry, and persimmon, to more exotic tastes like tomato bacon jam, this staple condiment is one the most versatile food options one is likely to find. It's also one of the most popular. Almost everyone enjoys a good jam, and famous chef and restauranteur Gordon Ramsay is no exception. 

Known for judging contestants' food on his cooking shows (and for regularly deploying the worst insults ever), Ramsay often demands that even the most complicated dishes be executed with the utmost perfection. The foul-mouthed chef has made more complex dishes than toast with jam, but he's also still found a way to elevate the flavor of a simple recipe. 

Of course, if we should expect to replicate anything anywhere near Ramsay's creations, we'll have to understand our ingredients on a fairly granular level. Different than jelly, jam is more rustic. According to Readers Digest, both are made by crushing the fruit. However, jelly is made with pectin, which makes it thicker than jam. Jam keeps the chunks, making it less spreadable but a great fruit-filled filling nonetheless. 

Interestingly, jam is what Ramsay likes to use as a filling for crumpets, but his recipe calls for a secret ingredient that elevates the flavor.

Vinegar belongs in jam

In a video on his YouTube channel, Gordon Ramsay walks us through his recipe for a quick homemade strawberry jam with an unexpected ingredient. 

To begin the jam, halve the strawberries and put a couple of tablespoons of sugar in the skillet. The goal is to have the strawberries and caramelized sugar come together to form a caramel glaze on the red berries before adding some lemon zest and lemon juice. After the mixture has reduced, Ramsay adds a touch of balsamic vinegar which he says gives the jam a "really nice, delicious tartness." 

The jam comes together and thickens a bit as it cools. In the video, Ramsay makes the quick jam as a filler for crumpets, but the sweet and tart jam can be used as a spread on toast, in a sandwich, or any other way you want to use the fruit spread.

Highly versatile, balsamic vinegar should always be in your kitchen, and not just for strawberry jam.