May 6, 2009

Sweet Onion Marmalade

[caption id="attachment_184" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Sweet Onion Marmalade"]Sweet Onion Marmalade[/caption]

Sweet onions, whether Walla Walla or Maui, are my favorite, and I use them whenever they're available. Recently I've tasted some onion jams and marmalades but none of them featured sweet onions so I decided to make some myself.

Sweet Onion Marmalade
2 pounds Maui Sweets or other sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (substitute olive oil for a vegan version)
¼ teaspoon sea salt (kosher salt works well also)
4 cloves garlic confit (optional, but it really makes a difference)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup red wine
¼ cup rice wine vinegar

Begin by caramelizing the onions. Melt the butter (or heat the oil) in a heavy pan over medium-low heat, then add the onions. Cook slowly for four hours or so, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until the onions are completely softened and richly caramelized. Add the salt and garlic confit about three hours into cooking, crushing the cloves into a paste. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary.

When you are satisfied with the caramelized onions, add the sugar and liquids. Raise the heat to medium-high and reduce until the liquids have been mostly absorbed, stirring frequently.

Spoon the finished marmalade into sterilized jars. I used a single 500ml jar. The marmalade will keep for 7-10 days in the refrigerator. It should be served at room temperature.


  1. drjennifercaseyMay 6, 2009 at 4:15 PM

    I was lucky enough to enjoy some of this marvelous sweet onion marmalade this evening. It was simply spectacular!

  2. Do you think Vidallia onions may work out as well?

  3. Absolutely. Vidalia, Walla Walla, or Maui, they'll all work just about equally well.

  4. Thank you GLM, since I live in Canada, these others you describe, I cannot locate.

    Sounds delish...where would I use the marmalade on? Like any ol item I normally spread it on?

    Toast? Pork chops? Liver'n'Onions?

  5. I've used it on bread, added a spoonful or two to sauces, and used it for flavoring in a main dish. I used it as one of the major ingredients in my Pear and Prosciutto Crostata. I'd say you can use it any way you like. I know I did.

  6. Onion marmalade is wonderful on hamburgers and in spinach tarts with gorgonzola cheese. Try it with roasted lamb. Cook a beef brisket with rhubarb, onion and mustard seed marmalade.

  7. Those are excellent suggestions, JoAnn. Thanks!