Grilled cheese gets grown and sexy, part 2: Grilled cheese with balsamic blackberry jam

April 06, 2011|By Jasmine Wiggins

For whatever reason, the best grilled cheese sandwiches I’ve ever had have been in the South. While I was living in Birmingham, Ala., I developed a soft-spot for pimiento cheese sandwiches glazed with just the right amount of butter. A lovely woman whom I used to sublet from made them perfectly.

I also used to frequent with my friend and co-worker, a great coffee and lunch spot called Urban Standard located in Downtown Birmingham. They served up amazing coffee and a very simple, but delicious grilled cheese sandwich with balsamic jam. It always made me feel like a little kid again, especially accompanied by one of their strawberry cupcakes.  Still, however, the sandwich managed to feel grown-up with the addition of the balsamic jam. (Which I could never ever get enough of). I have no idea how to make it, but I sure do miss it. Below is a take.

Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Blackberry Jam

2 slices sourdough bread
1-2 slices country ham or prosciutto (optional)
About 1/3 C of Gruyère, or other cheese (I think goat cheese or brie might be nice), enough to cover slice of bread
Balsamic Blackberry Jam (recipe below)

  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Flip over.
  2. Grate enough cheese to cover one slice of bread and cover one slice of bread with the cheese.
  3. Place ham on top of the cheese. Top with the other slice of bread.
  4. Add a generous amount of butter to a skillet. Heat pan. When butter starts to bubble, place sandwich in pan. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until each side is golden brown and cheese is melted.
  5. Serve with jam on the side. I like to dip my sandwich into a little dish of jam.

Balsamic Blackberry Jam

  • 1 C blackberries, rinsed
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 3/4 C balsamic vinegar
  1. Pour 3/4 C balsamic vinegar into a saucepan.
  2. Puree blackberries, and strain through a sieve using a spatula to push the puree through and into the saucepan.
  3. Add 1/4 C sugar. Stir together.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced and has thickened. Stir periodically.

I like eating the jam warm, when it's almost like a syrup. If you store it in the refrigerator, it will solidify into more of a jam consistency. You can always warm it to return it to a more fluid consistency.

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