How to make onion marmalade

Onion marmalade is one of those things you should always have in your fridge or pantry. It’s the perfect addition to a charcuterie board, delicious as a pizza topping, useful for adding body and depth of flavour to soups and sauces, and it turns an ordinary toasted cheese sandwich into a gourmet experience. The best part is that it’s so easy to make with cheap ingredients you likely have lying around already.

Before you start, there are some important points to remember:
– Any jam-like mixture wants to burn while cooking, so always watch your marmalade closely as it cooks.
– Feel free to experiment and substitute ingredients: red onions instead of brown, apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, white sugar instead of brown sugar, and so on.
– You can create a bit of extra interest by adding spices or herbs. Fennel seed, star anise, cinnamon, thyme and rosemary are all good options.

You will need:
1kg onions, halved, peeled and sliced
1 tsp salt
240g treacle sugar (add more to taste if you want a sweeter marmalade)
125ml warm water
250ml red wine vinegar
100ml balsamic vinegar

Place the sliced onions, salt, two tablespoons of the sugar, and warm water in a medium-sized pot over medium heat and stir to mix thoroughly. Cook for 25 to 35 minutes while stirring every few minutes. The onions should start to caramelise lightly. Add the remaining ingredients (here is where you’d add herbs and spices if desired), stir and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated, leaving you with a dark, sticky marmalade. This should take 15 to 20 minutes, but make sure not to overcook the mixture. It thickens up more as it cools, so it should still be a little loose when you remove it from the heat. Cool slightly and taste, adding more salt or sugar if needed.

By Emma-Kate Coultas (née Liebenberg)

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