This savory sweet caramelized onion jam recipe is a great way to preserve onions from the garden. Use this onion jam as a condiment to spice up meat dishes or slather it on a grilled cheese sandwich for a divine meal.
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It’s no secret in my family that I love onions. I love them in every shape and form – onions make a near-daily appearance in my culinary repertoire. I think that French Onion soup is the perfect soup. And a sandwich really isn’t a sandwich without the pungent crunchiness of the raw bulb. But even I can admit that sometimes a slice of that sulfur-y goodness isn’t the best flavor choice. The solution is simple really – this caramelized onion jam recipe with balsamic vinegar.
That’s right – I said caramelized onion jam.
Caramelized onion jam recipe
Balsamic onion jam recipe delivers a sweet, rich, caramelized goodness with a savory bite. This is definitely the type of jam that elevates an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich to something a bit divine and altogether wonderful. Top a round of brie with the stuff and wrap it in puff pastry to make the world’s simplest, and dare I say tastiest, hors d’oeuvre. Serve some up with these fried red potatoes and you’ll wow the dinner crowd.
This onion jam recipe calls for humble onions, a bit of sugar, a few herbs and seasonings, and balsamic vinegar. This isn’t the place to break out the expensive imported stuff either – a budget friendly, grocery store balsamic vinegar is perfectly fine to use here.
Easy onion jam
Don’t get all flustered at the idea of making “jam.” This isn’t a fussy recipe and doesn’t require any special equipment to make. You can preserve it simply by freezing it. If you want to take it a step further and preserve some of this onion jam for the pantry, you’ll need some basic canning equipment.
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When you’re expecting company, make up a batch ahead of time for an inexpensive but gourmet appetizer. Toast up some baguette slices, spread on some goat cheese, and top with this caramelized onion jam. Easy peas!
Or turn a simple grilled cheese sandwich into gourmet fare. Spread some of this onion jam on homemade potato bread, top it with cheese (maybe Gruyere?), and grill.
It makes for a lovely little hostess gift, too.
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Caramelized Onion Jam Recipe with Balsamic Vinegar
Put olive oil and onions in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat stirring only occasionally; cook until golden, about 10-15 minutes.
Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook until thickened and somewhat syrup-y. Add salt, pepper, and herbs.
Ladle into sterilized half pint jars, leaving about ½” headspace. Wipe rims clean and place prepared lids and rings on finger tight.
If you cannot test for pH, it is safest to freeze the jam at this point. Be sure to leave sufficient headspace for expansion.
Process in a water bath canner at a rolling boil for 15 minutes. After processing, carefully remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Check for seal and store in pantry for up to a year; refrigerate after opening.
With the addition of ample vinegar, this recipe registers a water bath canning method safe pH of 3.9 with a freshly calibrated pH meter. Food safety guidelines indicate that is safe to water bath can food with a pH of 4.2 or lower; if you do not have a pH meter, it may be wise to freeze this caramelized onion jam due to variation in balsamic vinegar acidity.
Yields 3-4 pints of onion jam.