River Cottage Onion Marmalade

This recipe comes from the Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No.2. Not written by the man himself  but by Pam Corbin known as 'Pam the Jam'. I love these handbooks and recently bought myself No 3 which is bread which I haven't even attempted making but will do at some point... honestly. Anyway, I'm never happier really than when making some sort of jam, pickle or chutney and having made this marmalade for Joe's family's Christmas hamper I was desperate to make some for me! Luckily it made a big kilner jar for our fridge and two jam jars for my parents and godparents so I looked like I was living in some sort of bubble of domesticity when in fact I had made it rather frantically that morning, left Joe to bottle it and run to get my hair done reeking of onion (the flat still has a slight whiff about it... that is one of the side affects.

Before discovering this recipe I made Rachel Allen's red onion jam from her book Bake, and I do really love this still so think I shall alternate between the two depending on my mood. This one is really great with cheese but you can use it on anything and makes for a yummy gift. I advise making it on a sunny day though as even the dog smelt oniony afterwards so you need windows open.

Onion Marmalade

Makes 5 x 225g jars

100ml Olive oil
2kg onions, peeled and finely sliced
200g demerara sugar
150g redcurrant jelly
300ml cider vinegar
50ml balsamic vinegar
1 rounded tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

You'll need a big pan - the bigger the better. We used 14 onions in the end which is a lot once sliced. You need to have jars - whatever kind you like but they need vinegar proof lids. They'll need to be sterilised and warm though.

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over and medium heat and add the onions. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes until the onions are collapsed and beginning to colour.

Joe can chop 14 onions without crying. I can take the peel off one...

2. Add the sugar and the redcurrant jelly. Increase the heat and continue to cook, stirring more frequently for about 30 minutes until the mixture turns a dark, nutty brown and most of the moisture has been driven off.

3. Take off the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before adding the vinegars (if you add vinegar to a red hot pan it will evaporate).

4. Return to the heat and cook rapidly for another 10 minutes or so, until the mixture becomes gooey and a spoon drawn across the bottom of the pan leaves a clear track on the base for a couple of seconds.

5. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into warm, sterilised jars and seal with vinegar proof lids. Use within 12 months.


The finished marmalade

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