Onion Jam Recipe

AuthorSteve Nubie
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It may come as a bit of a surprise, but onions make a great jam.  Onions are naturally sweet and loaded with natural sugars.  The key is to gently saute them until they are caramelized to release and concentrate the sugars.  Brown sugar is also added along with some other ingredients. 

This recipe is easy to make in your bread machine if you have a dedicated Jam or Jelly setting.  Many bread machines do.  If your machine does not have this setting you’re better off trying to make this jam in a conventional way on a stove top.  There are many recipes on the Internet that can guide you through that process, but if you’re using your bread machine you’re in luck because it’s so easy.  You will have to do one simple step on the stove top to caramelize the onions, but once that’s done all of the ingredients can go into the bread pan and the jam can then be finished in the machine. 

Onion jam is great on breads or other baked goods but it’s also an interesting accent to pork chops, steaks and even hamburgers and hot dogs.  It’s like a marmalade in the sense that you can still see the onions in the jam.   Yellow and red onions are a good source and if you can find a sweet onion variety like Vidalia that’s even better.  I prefer a blend of various onion varieties.

How to process your jams and jellies in a hot water bath

If you want to extend the shelf-life of your jam or jelly you’ll need to process it.  To do this you’ll need some basic equipment.

PROCESSING EQUIPMENT:

  • 1 large pot with lid capable of holding 3 gallons of water or more
  • 1 ½ gallons of water or enough to cover jars when all jars are immersed in pot
  • Canning jars with lids
  • Jar tongs for removing jars from boiling water plus regular tongs for lids
  • Towel to protect countertop and to dry jars

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in the pot.
  2. Remove the lids from the jars and drop the jars and lids into the boiling water. 
  3. After 5 minutes, carefully remove the jars and the lids and allow to dry on a clean, dry towel.
  4. Spoon the jam into the jars leaving a quarter-inch of headspace at the top of the jar and screw on the lids tightly.
  5. Immerse the jars in the boiling water and cover the pot and boil for 10 minutes. 
  6. Shut off the heat and carefully remove the jars using the jar tongs.
  7. Set the jars on the towel and carefully dab any water sitting on the jar lid.
  8. After 20 minutes, tighten the jars lids. You may need to protect your hands with a couple of dry washcloths to do this.
  9. Check the lids. If they are drawn down towards the jar it means you have a good vacuum seal.  If the lid clicks when pressed down, put that jar in the fridge and eat within 4 weeks.  Otherwise, any processed jams or jellies will keep for up to 6-months in a pantry but refrigerate after opening. 
  10. Label the jars with the type of jam or jelly and record the date it was made.
INGREDIENTS:
 2 tablespoons of canola or olive oil
 10 medium onions sliced thin or 5 large onions
 1 ¼ cups of brown sugar
 2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
 ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
 1/3 cup of sweet chili sauce
 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
DIRECTIONS:
1

Thinly slice the onions. A Mandolin can make this easier.

2

In a heavy pan like a cast iron skillet, heat the oil and add the onions and stir frequently over medium heat. In 15 to 20 minutes the onions will begin to caramelize.

3

Add the mustard seeds and brown sugar and stir for about 3 minutes until the brown sugar is dissolved.

4

Add the onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients to the bread pan and select the Jam and Jelly setting.

5

When done, remove the bread pan and carefully pour the hot jam into a jar and seal.

6

Let the jar cool in the refrigerator for 3 hours and serve. The jam should keep for up to 4 weeks if kept refrigerated.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS:
 2 tablespoons of canola or olive oil
 10 medium onions sliced thin or 5 large onions
 1 ¼ cups of brown sugar
 2 tablespoons of mustard seeds
 ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
 1/3 cup of sweet chili sauce
 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Directions

DIRECTIONS:
1

Thinly slice the onions. A Mandolin can make this easier.

2

In a heavy pan like a cast iron skillet, heat the oil and add the onions and stir frequently over medium heat. In 15 to 20 minutes the onions will begin to caramelize.

3

Add the mustard seeds and brown sugar and stir for about 3 minutes until the brown sugar is dissolved.

4

Add the onion mixture and the rest of the ingredients to the bread pan and select the Jam and Jelly setting.

5

When done, remove the bread pan and carefully pour the hot jam into a jar and seal.

6

Let the jar cool in the refrigerator for 3 hours and serve. The jam should keep for up to 4 weeks if kept refrigerated.

Onion Jam Recipe

Steve Nubie

Steve Nubie has been writing professionally for 38 years. He is a Chef and has traveled across Asia and Europe studying language, culture and cuisine. He instructs culinary classes in the Culinary School at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and has written extensively on cuisine, cooking, diet and nutrition. He is a published author of 10 books including a cookbook and continues to write on subjects related to culinary trends.

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