5 Ingredients or Fewer

Shallot Jam

November 30, 2020
5 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • makes about 1 1/2 cups
Author Notes

Like sliced bread and butter, this shallot jam is invaluable to have around. On that note, it’s also wonderful on buttered toast. Or smeared inside a grilled cheese. Or turned into a super-vinaigrette with olive oil and white wine vinegar. Or tossed with hot pasta and Greek yogurt. Or served alongside skillet pork chops or roast chicken or—you get the idea. It’s good with everything except ice cream, and honestly, I haven’t tried that, so who knows?

If you don’t have or don’t like malt vinegar, any variety will do the trick here. Try white wine, red wine, rice, sherry, or anything similarly mild mixed with something punchy like balsamic or black. The vinegar gets added in two stages: First, to deglaze the pan and loosen everything up. Second, to add a bam-pow of acidity at the very end.

Make sure you taste the jam before you call it a day. More salt? More vinegar? It should taste full and round and ultra-savory.

P.S.: To sidestep the inevitable sobbing that comes with dicing shallots, stick them in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes before starting, or invest in a pair of goggles. Read more on the science behind this here. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Shallot Jam
  • Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
  • 2 pounds shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons malt vinegar (or another variety), divided
  1. Set a wide saucepan over medium heat and add enough oil to thinly coat the bottom. Add the shallots and salt.
  2. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the shallots have significantly softened and turned a pale, almost-transparent pink.
  3. Remove the lid and drop the heat to medium-low. Stir in the sugar along with a small splash (about 1 tablespoon) of water. Continue cooking for 30 minutes—uncovered, stirring occasionally, and deglazing with water (about 1 tablespoon at a time) if anything starts to stubbornly stick.
  4. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the vinegar. Continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the texture is as jammy as you’d like. At this point, stir in the remaining vinegar, then cut the heat.
  5. Taste and add more vinegar or salt, if you’d like.
  6. Let cool, then jar and refrigerate for up to a couple weeks. If the jam becomes too stiff once chilled, you can loosen with a bit of water, vinegar, or both.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • velvet
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • Jocooks00!
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

9 Reviews

FrugalCat December 7, 2021
This was amazing with turbinado sugar and white balsamic vinegar.
velvet March 3, 2021
i am headed into the kitchen to make this now. wish me luck!
velvet March 4, 2021
ok so i made this... i did cry when cutting, oh well. this is so good what a great recipe! i immediately made grilled swiss cheese sandwhiches and used the jam and it was sooooooo good. when i made the recipe i chopped the shallots roughly and in the future i think i will make a finer dice. i als felt like it was a tiny bit sweet for me and would add less sugar next tiime. over all it cooked down great and i made mine really, really caramelized. yummmmmmmmmmm. buon appetito!
Jocooks00! December 18, 2020
Apply mascara after.
Christa December 6, 2020
It took a LOT of time to peel and chop just ONE pound of shallots, so I halved the recipe, but of course, as I suspected, the volume shrank considerably, so if I make again, which I'd like to do, I'll persevere through the two pounds, and I can see why two pounds are recommended i used one tbsp of sherry vinegar and one tbsp of balsamic for the first step and a similarly halved amount for the second, and the result was divine. My store had a glut of shallots after never being able to find them in the past and was giving them away for ten cents each. Alison Roman has a similar, smaller recipe in the NYT that I've been meaning to try.
Windupbird1 December 2, 2020
I’m wondering how apple cider vinegar would fare in this recipe.
Emma L. December 2, 2020
It would work great!
MaureenAspen December 1, 2020
My husband makes a similar recipe but uses apricot jam in the place of sugar. One year he made the apricot jam with a liberal sprinkling of nutmeg and the combo with shallots was delicious.
Emma L. December 2, 2020
Yum, that sounds so good!