Onion Marmalade

Onion Marmalade

I recently came across the concept of onion marmalade and I was immediately intrigued. Images of sweet and chunky preserved caramelized onions were dancing through my head and I could not resist. I am rather taken with caramelized onions, except that because of how long they take to properly caramelize I do not make them as often as I might like but the idea of sweet balsamic caramelized onions was all the push that I needed. This recipe is pretty simple and you just need to caramelize the onions, add some balsamic vinegar along with sugar, thyme salt and pepper and you are done.

When I first started caramelizing onions it took me about 3 hours to do it properly but now I am down to about an hour. I start by cooking the onions at medium heat until they are tender and then I reduce the heat a bit, add water, cover and cook until they are golden brown stirring every once in a while. Given that in caramelizing the onions you are trying to remove their moisture, adding water may seem a bit counter intuitive but it increases the total surface area of the onions that is being expose to the heat allowing them to cook faster. Normally only the small amount of surface area that is directly in contact with the pan is exposed to the heat but if you add water, the water will heat up to the same temperature as the bottom of the pan and it will get into every nook and cranny of the onions exposing them to the heat. Once you get to the add water, cover and cook phase it is pretty hands off so you can go on and do other things as long as you remember to come back and stir every one in a while so that hour is not as bad as it may seem.

The onion marmalade, or balsamic caramelized onions, turned out to be just as good as they promised to be! The tangy and fruity balsamic vinegar went really well with the sweet caramelized onions and the touch of thyme added a great flavour and definitely planted the marmalade more in the savoury category than the sweet for me. Now that I have my onion marmalade I can't wait to use it in something.

Onion Marmalade (or Balsamic Caramelized Onions)

Onion Marmalade (or Balsamic Caramelized Onions)

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes Servings: 1

Sweet caramelized onions with the tangy hit of balsamic vinegar that is tempered by a touch of sugar.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute until the onions are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to just a bit below medium, add the water, cover and cook until the onions turn a deep golden brown, about 50 minutes. You will need to stir every 10 minutes for the first 30 minutes and every 5 minutes for the remaining time. (Add a bit more water if it starts to get to dry.)
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, salt and pepper, deglaze the pan and cook until most of the moisture is gone.


J said...

I might make a suggestion, to shorten the cook time? I take the prepped onions and microwave them till soft, then I add them to my skillet to cook down.. significantly reduced the cooking time and I have not found a difference in the end product.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I often make a similar recipe. Your onion marmalade looks wonderful.



Derrick said...

A good time saver tip from an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, use a heavy pot cover placed directly on the onions for the first 5-10 minutes.

Velva said...

A reminder at what a beautiful addition an onion marmalade can be to a dish. Thanks.


The Cafe Sucre Farine said...

Yum, these look so good! I can imagine them on a good little crostini with a bit of cream cheese- it's making my mouth water!

vanillasugar said...

love love love this.
there are just so many things you can eat this with.

Joanne said...

I can think of so many great uses for this spread! Delicious.

ThatJewCanCook said...

Sounds like they'd be perfect slathered over a burger!

Kelly said...

I love condiments like this. As others have said, they are so versatile and pack flavor. Perfect for starting a dish off with flavor or adding to a sandwich.

Kevin said...

J & Derrick: I will definitely have to try both methods to shorten the cooking time! Thanks for the tips!

Kitchenboy said...

Wow! This looks seriously delicious! How long will this keep for, if you don't use it straight away?

Awesome blog!

Charcuterista said...

a place I used to work at put a dollop of onion marm on a wedge of triple cream brie, baked it and served it with toast points and sliced asian pear. mmm...

Deepika@everydaydelightful said...

what a simple but amazing recipe! is there a particular kind of onion that suits this dish?

Kevin said...

Deepika: Any onion will work well but I like to use sweet ionins or red onions when I get the chance.

Kim said...

When I was on my honeymoon, we had these pork chops with red onion jam. It was beyond tasty! This reminds me of it! I bet it would taste great on top of pork chops or something similar.

Expat mum said...

Just made this and it's delish. I made a 2nd batch (half the quantity) using garlic and red onion - with rosemary instead of the thyme, and adding red wine. It's also really good, although you'd have to use it in smaller dollops. I puree'd both just to be different, and used it on meats. Everyone loved it.

Anonymous said...

Try it with a splash of Tabasco sauce to accompany Hummus and Pitta Bread, you'll hate me for introducing you to it !

Anonymous said...

This was a really tasty addition to my brie and ham grilled cheese on sourdough. It was a little sweet for my tastes though. I think the caramelized onions are swe
et enough on their own and next time I won't add the additional brown sugar.

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