Balsamic Onion Jam
This recipe is from the ‘All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving’ and has got to be one of my all time favourite canning recipes.
If you haven’t had a look at this book yet I would highly recommend buying it. Its Ball’s newest canning book and I have to say it is definitely one of their best. I think they actually hired chefs to help formulate the recipes for this book so they are truely on a whole new playing level compared to their older stuff.
You can check out the book here if you’re interested:
If you are completely new to canning then head over and give my Canning Page a read. This should give you all the information you need to know about how to can.
If you are new to canning then don’t freak out because this is a perfect recipe for beginners. It’s super super easy to make and its a water bath canning method, meaning that all you need to get started is a big stock pot.
How to make it
The worst part about this recipe is cutting up the onions. You have to start by dicing 1kg (2lb) of onions!!
I hope you don’t cry too much during this process. If you’re like me though and your eyes start burning at the mere thought of cutting onions then maybe invest in a pair of those onion goggles, I’ve been curious as to whether they actually work or not for ages! lol and i promise you will only look a little bit funny wearing them.
If it makes you feel any better I actually stood in the kitchen with my sunglasses on to try and stop some of the pain that onions can inflict… not that it worked that well!
Anyway back to the recipe. You start by dicing up your onions. Then you combine your onions, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, salt, white pepper and bay leaf in a medium-large pot.
Place your pot on a medium heat and cook for 15 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Trust me when i say the whole kitchen will smell amazing while this is cooking. For some reason the smell of cooking onions is ridiculously delicious.
After this stir in your apple juice and pectin. The recipe calls for Ball Low or No Sugar Pectin, however i can never get ahold of this over in Australia so i just use normal pectin and it still works fine.
Bring your mixture up to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down, stirring constantly.
Add the sugar and return the mixture to a rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and discard your bay leaf.
If your mixture has any foam on top then feel free to skim that off now.
And thats it. Onion jam made! Now all you have to do is get it in your cans and process it.
Of course if you don’t want to can this recipe then allow it to cool and place it in an airtight container in the fridge and I would recommend using it within 5 days.
If you do want to can it and are not sure how to do that then you can give my Water Bath Canning Page a read, it should give you a basic understanding of how to can your jam. Also, it is important to adjust your processing time depending on your altitude. If you’re not sure how to adjust your processing time based on your altitude then check out my tutorial on altitude and home canning before you give this recipe a go. If you live below 1000 feet above sea level then you don’t need to adjust your altitude and you can simply use the processing times that i give below in my recipe.
What to eat it with!
It’s always nice to have a couple of ideas about what to pair your canned goods with. Sometimes i read a recipe for canning and theres no picture, no serving suggestions and it has a name like ‘vinegar and banana jam’ and i just think to myself hmm that sounds horrible.
So i think it’s always a good idea to provide a bunch of pictures and serving suggestions so that you guys at home can get a good idea of what you’re making before you even start.
This recipe for onion jam is really great with pretty much anything. I add it to my cooked breakfasts with egg, bacon and avocado.
Add it to your toasted cheese sandwich and it really changes the game.
Its great to add to a cheese board. It goes fantastically with cheese, crackers and all those other little bits and bops.
It’s great in sandwiches and on top of burgers.
You can really get creative with this recipe and chuck it on top of anything and i think it would still be good.
Now for the recipe…
Makes about 5 (1/2 pint / 250ml) jars
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
Stir in apple juice and pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Remove and discard bay leaf. Skim foam, if necessary.
Ladle hot jam into hot jar, leaving 1/4 inch (0.5cm) headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Centre lid on jar. Apply band, and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
Process jars 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.