How many people do you know who wake up one morning and say to themselves “I think I am going to be very self indulgent today and make myself some onion jam”? Most people I know, including me of course, are always in a hurry or catching up with backlog or sorting out ‘stuff’ or looking forward to some down time. I came across a recipe for onion jam in a food magazine I was reading while ‘driving’ my car in very-slow traffic on Rome’s major ring road, known as the GRA or Gran Raccordo Anulare. Say what you like about traffic jams but they have often provided me with time for a quick read and … inspiration! Jam is not the sort of thing I normally cook but this recipe looked so delicious and so easy to make that I was instantly spurred to action.
These are the ingredients: 1kg of onions, 300g of castor sugar, 50g of brown sugar, a sprinkling of cinnamon, a pinch of paprika or chilli powder.
The onions need to be sliced very thinly and placed in a saucepan with the sugar. Add the cinnamon and chilli and cook on a very low heat for about 40 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir often until it thickens to the right consistency.
I put the sugar in the pan first. Then I used a mandoline (a cheap and cheerful one that I bought at the market) to slice the onions very thinly.
The onion jam towards the end of cooking time. Very sticky already …
The onion jam in the recipe I was reading served to complete a soufflé-like dish called a ‘sformatino’ in Italian. More about that in another post. But onion jam can be used to accompany seasoned cheeses, steaks and roasts and grilled vegetables too. I could even picture a baby dollop of onion jam on ice cream!
So, yes … next time you want to feel as if you had all the time in the world and nothing to do … you could do worse than indulge in a bit of jam-making using onions.
A bowl with onion jam on the left … and a dollop of it on the sformatino.
I notice that you are using two types of onions…. one is the Cipolla di Tropeo, right? I’m going to try it with some red onions I have, but wonder if you have any words of wisdom about onion choice. I know that I’m to avoid using red onions in onion soup!
I used two kinds of onions because that’s what I had in the kitchen that day! And the Cipolla di Tropea is famous for its sweetness … so it made sense to use it for jam making. Onion soup is a tricky one because so many regions and nations claim its ‘paternity’ as the Italians would say. Where WAS the first onion soup created? Did THEY have access to red onions? Just off the bat and with no prior knowledge, I would hazard a guess and say that ordinary ‘yellow’ onions probably caramelize more than the red.
And anyway, there IS a recipe for French Red Onion soup …http://the-cooking-of-joy.blogspot.com/2009/03/french-red-onion-soup.html
??? curioser and curioser ….