Balsamic Reduction Recipe
Balsamic Reduction or Balsamic Glaze is a sauce that can be used on dishes like Salmon, Caprese Salads, antipasto dishes and even white pizza!
Making a Balsamic Reduction can be easy when knowing how to do it correctly. Not reducing the Balsamic Vinegar Long enough will leave you with a very tangy and runny sauce that wont stick to your food. Over doing it and adding too much sweetener can leave you with rock candy and an almost destroyed pot (ask me how I know that...). But I didn't get discouraged. I kept messing with the recipe I started with until I came up with this one.
The first issue I ran into was over reduction which left me with a very sticky mess and a few bucks down the drain because there my glaze had turned to stone. So what went wrong? The recipe called for a 1:1 ratio of Balsamic vinegar and white sugar. This seemed extreme for the amount of sugar being used but I knew none the wiser and I went for it. The part two where this recipe went wrong is that it had me cook the mixture on medium for 20 minutes. In hindsight I should have known better because I used to make my own lollipops and I know what happens when you boil sugar, anyways... I cooked it down and I immediately knew there was an issue.
Just seconds after removing the pot from the stove it began to harden. Yup... I made Balsamic Rock Candy, Oh boy. I quickly jumped into action and poured out the mess the best I could and ran the tap as hot as I could get it. I filled the pot half way with water and brought it to a boil. This was also the day I saved my favorite copper bottomed pot from the dump.
So now I know. Too much sugar, bad! Now at $4 a bottle for Balsamic Vinegar, my frugal butt wasn't messing around. This time I only used HALF a bottle as the previous recipe called for an ENTIRE bottle. This way if I made more none edible vinegar candy, I still had one more shot at this.
Luckily this time I didn't need to, my second reduction attempt was successful.
I used 1 cup of Balsamic vinegar, 1/8th cup of White Sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt. Depending on what you're making you can of course double this recipe but if you're just drizzling a dish like a couple salads, this should be plenty.
Add all of your ingredients to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Bring to a low boil then reduce heat to medium low. You don't want to get to a crazy boil, just a medium simmer. Not turning your glaze into candy is done by keeping the heat pretty low.
All the recipes you will find will say you don't have to hover over your glaze while it's cooking. If this is your first time, keep an eye on it. It can go from a simple simmer to a rapid boil pretty quick and everything is ruined.
(I judge it by when the reduction starts sticking to my spoon)
The other thing that recipes mention is that you should cook your reduction down for 20-30 minutes. Personally I go by eye now. You cant go by time when your temperatures may vary a lot compared to someone else's A good rule of thumb is "half thickened" though. This way is runny enough to pour but not too watery that it falls right off your food
Once half thickened, remove from heat. Let cool and either use right away or store in your refrigerator for up to a year the way it is. After that it should still be safe but the taste may get sweeter.
That's it! I hope your reduction came out just right for you the first time. This can definitely take practice if you haven't make a reduction in the past. Don't get discouraged and always plan ahead! Making your homemade dressings and glazes hours or days before hand gives you the upper hand in case something goes wrong!
It's so good! I had made it for my favorite pizza, Fig & Prosciutto! Be on the look out for that recipe coming soon!!
Cooks Notes: If you own a respirator mask (like the ones they hand out at doctors), Its not a bad idea to have one near by. If you accidentally get your reduction too hot the vinegar begins to burn off and it can be painful when breathing it in.
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 cup White Sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
4. Once half thickened, remove from heat. Let cool and either use right away or store in your refrigerator for up to a year the way it is.
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