Artisansal | The Marmalade of Tropea

Marmellata di Cipolla ITALY red onion marmalade

This red onion marmalade is one of the great delicacies of Europe. It is found in small expensive jars in delicatessens and grocers, yet it is easy to make in the home, and worth the effort.

Ideally it should be made with the soft red onions of Tropea.

Red onions, especially those grown in northern climates, are harder and require a longer cooking time.

  • 2 kg red onions, peeled, washed
  • 600 g brown sugar
  • 480 ml white wine
  • 240 ml brandy
  • 30 g raisins
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves

Halve onions and slice roughly.

Place in a large bowl with bay leaves, brandy, cloves, sugar and white wine. Leave in a cold place to macerate, stirring occasionally until the onions have shrunk into the liquid, about five-six hours.

With one hour to go soak raisins in warm water. Add to onion mixture.

Leave a small plate in the fridge.

Put onion mixture into a large saucepan, bring heat up slowly to dissolve the sugar, then keep on a steady boil until the marmalade begins to form.

When there is a small amount of liquid left at the bottom of the saucepan, about 90 minutes, place half a spoonful of the marmalade on the plate. Let the marmalade cool. It is set if no liquid runs out when the plate is tilted.

While the onions are cooking wash a mixture of jars. Sterilise and dry in oven at 100°C for ten minutes.

Put hot marmalade in hot jars, seal and cool completely before labelling.