Can Jam #3: “Allium” – Red Onion Marmalade

Tigress’ Can Jam is a challenge that focuses on a fruit or vegetable each month, and all the participants have to come up with interesting recipes. This month’s focus is: alliums. This covers things like: green scallions, chives, scapes, ramps, leeks, onions, shallots, and garlic. I really LOVE chives and scallions, but I couldn’t find any canning recipe that tickled my fancy. I have to say, I kind of have a challenge within the challenge going on here. I don’t like pickles at all (except for cornichons), so my challenge was to find a jam, marmalade or jelly recipe. Alliums in a jam? No way, I thought.

Then I took out the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving and actually found several jams or jellies. Garlic jelly? No, that made my stomach turn. But what about a red onion marmalade? The recipe called for cranberries, too, which I absolutely LOVE (they are sooooooo not regional here, but to put things right I already ordered 3 cranberry bushes so I’ll grow my own cranberries from now on – YAY!). Anyway, I decided to give this marmalade a try.

You’ll find the exact recipe on the bottom of this post.

Here’s what I changed: I cut the recipe in half because I was sceptical about the taste. A 1/2 recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar, but I added only 1 cup because all jam recipes are always way too sweet for me. Instead of pectin, I used 2 teaspoons of locust bean gum as a thickening agent.

The taste of the marmalade is ok. I’m glad, though, I only made a 1/2 recipe, because the onion flavor is REALLY dominant. I’ll eat it, as will the hubby, but the kids don’t like it at all. To sum it up: it was an interesting experience, but I won’t make it again.

Quick Red Onion Marmalade (adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced halved red onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 3 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 package (1.75 oz) regular powdered fruit pectin
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  2. In a skillet, over medium heat, combine red onion, cranberries, brown sugar and vinegar. Cook, stirring, until onion is transparent, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine cooked onion mixture, orange zest and apple juice. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
  4. Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot marmalade. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  5. Place jars in canner, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Makes about 5 8-oz. jars

Here are some fellow canners’ allium creations:


12 responses to “Can Jam #3: “Allium” – Red Onion Marmalade

  1. I made a similar one… red onion rosemary jam, one idea that was listed in the recipe that I used was to use it as a marinade for a roast. Maybe that would work for yours too! 🙂

  2. This is such an interesting recipe idea! What did you eat it on/in/with?

  3. Now this sounds so good. Another to add to the list I NEED to make!

  4. As I said when you visited my chutney, your onion marmalade looks beautiful. Garlic jelly? I couldn’t agree more. But I went ahead and tried it anyway . . . it’s a “will most likely not make again” for sure!

  5. I’m much more of onion jam fan than you I think, to me this sounds amazing! I think you are right, it would be perfect in a baked brie… I put a description of how I do those in the comments of my post, I think its pretty clear but let me know if that doesn’t qualify as a proper recipe and I’ll do better!

  6. I’m intrigued by the locust bean gum, how did you use it? My friend mentioned agar agar last night as a possible thickener, have you ever used that as well?

    • They have powdered locust bean gum at our grocery store (Germany). I’ve used agar agar a lot with jams, but the problem is that it doesn’t seem to work with waterbath canning. Usually, I don’t waterbath can my jams – just for this challenge. So without the waterbath, agar-agar works quite fine. You have to mix it with a little water to dissolve it and when the jam is cooking you just add it to the jam. Then you boil it for a couple minutes and pour it into your jars. When the temperature decreases, the jam will set. I tried waterbath canning it, but it wouldn’t set anymore after the waterbath and was all runny… That’s why I was looking for something else and stumbled upon locust bean gum. This I just add to the boiling mixture, boil it for about 4 minutes, pour it into the jars and process them.

  7. I’m intrigued by the combination of flavors (and I do like cranberries)
    Good job!

  8. Well, it looks beautiful! How do you grow cranberries?

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