Sweet Balsamic Glaze with Maple is a two-ingredient dressing that transforms food into an interesting bite of intense flavors. The magic is in the balsamic reduction process; which only takes 20 minutes.
Discover how you can make basic balsamic vinegar into a balsamic glaze! Perfect condiment to drizzle over various salads, roasted vegetables, fresh fruits; even over pizza! Use this glaze to make my maple balsamic Brussel sprouts.
The secret to turning balsamic vinegar into thick balsamic glaze is in the reduction process. It's quick and simple to make at home; also, it's super convenient to have on hand for various types of dishes.
Balsamic vinegar originates from Italy and is made from crushed whole grapes (called grape must) that are aged in wooden barrels. Only two regions in Italy produce real balsamic vinegar: Modena and Reggio Emilia. Together, these two provinces produce three kinds of balsamic vinegar that have a PGI (protected geographical indication. This indication is used to identify high-quality products from a specific geographical location): Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena), Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia DOP (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia), and Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP (Balsamic Vinegar of Modena).
When shopping for balsamic vinegar, you might come across a bottle that is labeled as condimento. This one is generic balsamic vinegar and tends to be even less expensive than the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The production of generic balsamic condiment is not regulated by any authority. It does contain similar ingredients but with additives to make it last longer or make it thicker. The age of the grape must used in this type of balsamic vinegar is also often unknown or younger than the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
- Balsamic Vinegar - High quality vinegar will give the best results. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is what I use.
- Maple Syrup - For extra sweetness; but even without it, you can end up with a tangy and syrupy reduction.
How to make balsamic glaze
Essentially, reducing a sauce or liquid means boiling it down to your desired consistency. As the liquid from the sauce evaporates, you are left with its concentration. It's packed with flavor and now in the perfect consistency to coat other food.
- 1st Step - Gently bring balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low.
- 2nd Step - While it's simmering, occasionally keep stirring for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the vinegar thickens.
- 3rd Step - Once it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat.
- Fourth Step - Transfer glaze into a mason jar and allow it to cool completely.
Detailed recipe is in the recipe card.
- Maple Syrup- If you don't have maple syrup, you can use another sweetener, like brown sugar or cane sugar. Honey is another option, but it wouldn't be vegan. You can loose the sweetener, all together, if don't care for it to be sweet and want less calorie in-take.
Uses for Balsamic Glaze
What do you use balsamic glaze for? Umm, to put on almost everything! Pizza too bland? Add a balsamic glaze. Vanilla ice cream too boring? Top with balsamic glaze. Want more exciting pineapples? Grill them and add balsamic glaze. If you like how pickles make sandwiches extra lively, then you’ll like how balsamic glaze adds a touch of tangy sweetness to mild, muted, and even sweet food. It is also fantastic for off-setting bitter flavors, making them more palatable and interesting. That said, it is an excellent dressing for caprese salads, watermelon cucumber salads, tomato mozzarella salads! You can also drizzle it directly over grilled or roasted veggies (asparagus, Brussel sprouts, beets, carrots). It is surprisingly good on other stone fruits like figs, peaches, cherries, berries; as it brings out their natural sweetness.
A concentration of the evaporated vinegar when reducing the liquid to get a thicker consistency.
Balsamic glaze needs to be stored in the fridge where it will keep for up to four weeks. However, balsamic vinegar can be stored in your cupboard or kitchen cabinet with the bottle tightly closed for years.
There are several brands you can find at the grocery store, next to the balsamic vinegars. However, homemade is easier, tastier, and more cost efficient.
Yes! The ingredient list includes vinegar and maple syrup; both are gluten-free and vegan condiments.
Recipes Using Balsamic Glaze
- Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Watermelon Cucumber Salad with Basil
- Roasted Vegetables Salad
- Pickled Beet Salad with Clementine Orange
- Roasted Beet & Fennel Salad
- Warm Balsamic Kale Salad
Sweet Balsamic Glaze with Maple (Reduction)
- ½ cup Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP or Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- ¼ cup Maple syrup
- Heat balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer. Stir occasionally for about 15 to 20 minutes until the vinegar thickens. Note: it can take a little bit longer depending on your stove.
- Turn off the heat once it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (best way to know it's done).
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before serving (about 15 minutes).