I don’t know if you know this, but apples LOVE onions.
It’s a match made in heaven. See, an onion might seem spicy and savory–even a little harsh–but when you break it down, it’s truly sweet on the inside. The apple, while sweet in an obvious sort of way, can be surprisingly tart. On their own, they’re simple flavors–pair them up and you get something delightfully complicated.
I put apples and onions in my thanksgiving stuffing. I’ve been known to toss a little apple into my onion soup. They’re just a power couple–a dynamic duo, if you will. Add some sugar, salt, and lemon and they are the jam.
Apple-onion jam, that is. Which you make like so:
One large sweet onion (I use Walla Walla), diced
Three medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
Two tablespoons olive oil
The juice of one lemon
One cup water
Two cups sugar
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the diced onion and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Cook the onions until they are soft, stirring frequently.
When the onions are softened, add the apples, lemon juice, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Maintain a low simmer for approximately two hours, stirring frequently and watching carefully to be sure the jam doesn’t burn (I took my eyes off it once. It triggered the smoke detector and the house alarm, which I didn’t even know it could do.)
You’ll know the jam is done when it’s thick, deep golden brown, and the apples and onions are mostly to entirely translucent. When you scoop a spoonful, the jam won’t flatten and run like syrup–it will mound on your spoon, like so:
When it’s done, you can can it but I usually just refrigerate and eat it ASAP–who can wait for something so good? If you do bother with the sterilized jars and hot water, this would make an awesome Christmas present for a food lover… maybe add some chiles and put it in a gift basket with cheese… the possibilities are endless.
This stuff is SO GOOD. I can eat it by the spoonful. I like it on toast. Best of all, I like it in a grilled cheese sandwich (with a really nice cheddar and artisan bread–the kind my kids won’t steal from me) or alongside a hunk of goat’s cheese.
Gosh, I’m getting hungry just talking about it. I’m going to go eat some jam.