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 – caramelized onion jam with balsamic vinegar.
That’s right – I said caramelized onion jam.
Balsamic onion jam 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.
This recipe calls for humble onions, a bit of sugar, a few herbs and seasonings, and balsamic vinegar. This is not the place to break out the expensive imported stuff either – a budget friendly, grocery store balsamic vinegar is perfectly fine to use here. 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.
Put up a few jars of this yummy caramelized onion jam — by way of canner or freezer — to treat your inner allium lover!
Caramelized Onion Jam with Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 pounds yellow onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup organic sugar
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely minced summer savory (or try a combination of thyme and rosemary)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, crushed
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.