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Cook A Classic: Lady Marmalade

People have been making jams, jellies and preserves for hundreds of years – and for good reason. Preserving not only locks in flavour, but enhances it too. This month: sticky onion marmalades are in season. Try this age-old, yet modern, recipe to make your own. 


Sticky onion marmalade  

Makes 500ml Jar • Total Time 45–50 Min 



2 Tbsp canola oil 
8–10 white onions, thinly sliced 
1 Tbsp butter 
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme 
2 bay leaves 
1 cup dark brown sugar (muscovado or demerara sugar works well) 
1 cup balsamic vinegar 
Salt and milled black pepper  



1. Heat oil in a large pot and add onions.
2. Fry onions over a medium-low heat for about 15–20 minutes, stirring often until golden brown.
3. Reduce heat and add butter, thyme and bay leaves. Cook for another 3–5 minutes.
4. Sprinkle sugar over the onions and allow to melt for about 5 minutes. Do not stir in the sugar.
5. Increase the heat and allow the sugar to caramelise and the onions to develop a deep golden colour. This should take about 5 minutes.
6. Add the balsamic vinegar and give it a stir.
7. Reduce heat and simmer for 5–6 minutes or until mixture becomes sticky.
8. Remove the herbs and discard. Season onion marmalade to taste.


Tips To Serve It Up  

This savoury marmalade is slightly sweet and pairs well with almost anything!  

  • Lay it on thick with sliced ham and blue cheese on toast.  
  • Complements any and every cheese platter. 
  • Dollop onto roasted beetroot and goat’s cheese tarts.  
  • Spoon into lettuce cups filled with shredded chicken, tomato and mozzarella.  
  • Swirl through tomato-based pasta sauces for a hint of sweetness.  
  • Dollop onto your favourite pizza.  


Make It Your Own And: 

Add some heat with chilli flakes, or whole red or green chillies. 
Use shallots for a sweeter marmalade, or red onions for extra bite and a bit of colour. Roasted garlic or whole spices like star anise, cloves or mustard seeds will add texture and deepen the flavour. 
Fresh herbs add colour and fragrance. 


Words by Chad January
Photography: Fresh Living Magazine

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