Estonian onion jam recipe
On a cruise this summer of northern Europe, Jo and I were able to visit the lovely town of Tallinn in the country of Estonia. Admittedly, we didn’t know much about Estonia beforehand, but soon learned that it was full of beautiful architecture, charming parks, plentiful shops, and excellent food.
One such wonderful food was the classic Estonian onion jam I picked up at the Olde Hansa shop. It came in the cutest ceramic crock, sealed with wax and all tied up with twine. It was a delightfully delicious blend of sweet and savory, and I loved it so much that when I got home, I knew I needed to figure out a way to make more. A bunch of research and a few trial recipes later, and I had my copycat Olde Hansa Estonian Onion Jam recipe perfected.
Estonian Onion Jam
- 1-1/2 lbs red onions (about 2 large)
- 2-1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup turbinado sugar (a.k.a Sugar in the Raw)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-1/4 cup red wine
- 2-1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Slice the onions in half, then into thin strips. (NOTE: Strips are the classic cut, but if you’d prefer a less stringy look and a more easily spreadable consistency, you can dice the onions instead.)
Measure out all your remaining ingredients so they are ready to go.
Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions on medium heat until they soften.
Then add the sugars (white and turbinado) and mix thoroughly until dissolved.
Add the red wine, bay leaf, thyme, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to a slightly syrupy, jam-like consistency.
Remove from the heat, take out the bay leaf, and cool completely.
My favorite way to eat this jam is on slices of bread with cream cheese. It hits all the flavor points and just tastes so wonderfully rich!
And of course, I store my jam in the original ceramic jar I got in Estonia. This is one of my favorite souvenirs from the trip.
For Christmas, I decided to give jars of this jam to friends and neighbors. I found cute little jars at Hobby Lobby and filled them up, then added a cute little tag.
I made my tags into a customizable Word doc so you can use them for your own gifts if you’d like. Just download the Estonian Onion Jam gift tag, add your message, and print them out. So cute!