Pixelated Crumb

Caramelized Onion Jam With Dark Rum

Caramelized Onion Jam with Dark Rum

In addition to the two cakes I made for the bridal shower, I also made an onion jam. Actually, no, Joseph made it and I stood around and tried to be useful. When I did step in to help, my reward was a splatter of oil and butter jumping straight from the pan to my hand. It was all in the name of some really yummy jam, so it was totally worth it.

Onion Halves

Onion Slices

I had been craving onion jam ever since seeing an French Onion Tart on the Food Network. I love caramelized onions and Joseph is a master at making them (coming soon, some tips on caramelizing onions). With the two cakes and a punch I was also making, I took a shortcut and decided on just making onion jam and getting some bread from the local bakery. I saw a few recipes that looked good, but when I came across this recipe on Cook’s Illustrated, the recipe browsing came to a screeching halt. Fresh thyme, rum, and caramelized onions? No, there was no need to keep looking.

Onion Slices in Pan

Caramelizing Onions

So I printed the recipe and handed it to Joseph, and the next thing I knew, he was halfway through making it. My main contributions were finding the recipe (crucial), opening the rum (important), doing a quick quality control test of the rum (imperative), transferring the onions to the pan and burning myself with the leaping oil/butter combo (painful), lighting the rum on fire (fun), and eating it (sinfully delightful).

Caramelized Onion Jam with Dark Rum

Print Recipe

Caramelized Onions with Dark Rum

From Cook’s Illustrated

Spanish onions, which are slightly sweeter, are great for caramelizing. Serve with bread, crackers, and cheese.



  1. Heat the butter and oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. When the foam subsides, stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon light brown sugar. Add the onions and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften and release some moisture, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are deeply browned and slightly sticky, about 40 minutes longer. (If the onions are sizzling or scorching, reduce the heat. If the onions are not browning after 15 to 20 minutes, raise the heat.)

  2. Off heat, add the rum and wave a lit match over skillet until the rum ignites. Shake the skillet until the flames subside.

  3. Transfer the onions to food processor along with fresh thyme and the remaining 1 tablespoon light brown sugar. Pulse to jam-like consistency, about five 1-second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl; stir in vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. (Can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 7 days.)

Yield: 1 cup