Friday, 13 September 2013

spiced blackberry and onion marmalade

I love preserving; both sweet and savoury.  It brings me comfort that I know I will have something delicious in the store cupboard to liven up a sandwich or meal at a moments notice.  My spiced blackberry and onion marmalade is great with sausages, hot or cold roast meats and cheese (it's awesome on cheese on toast!).  I am always on the look out for different flavour combinations and mixing up ingredients in ways that we would not normally expect.  I wasn't sure that blackberries would work in a savoury preserve but it was worth a go and I think it turned out well. Spicy and fruity with a lovely sticky onion marmalade.  I spiced my marmalade with chilli, cardamon, star anise and coriander.  The star anise adds a wonderful savoury depth to the caramelised onions (a good tip for any recipe that involves caramelised onions).  The cardamon and coriander add a wonderful fragrance and the dried chilli a little heat. I left the chillies whole so as not to overpower the marmalade, but you can use less or more, depending on your preference.  

This is just a chutney by another name....I like the word marmalade...but then chutney is also good...I'll let you decide what to call it if you make it!  Do let me know how you get on and please do share your favourite chutney, marmalade or pickle recipes.  Your comments are always much appreciated and I look forward to chatting with you soon.   

recipe by:  chip butties and noodle soup
preparation time:  15 minutes
cooking time:  50-60 minutes

spiced blackberry and onion marmalade


250g blackberries
800g onions (peeled/prepared weight) finely sliced
350g sugar
350g cider/wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves - finely sliced
6 cardamon pods (cracked)
1 tbs coriander seeds
2 star anise
6 small dried red chillies (or to taste)
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) 

makes about 1kg of spiced blackberry and onion marmalade

  1. roast the spices and dried chillies for a few minutes until they start to release their fragrance and essential oils - be careful they don't burn.
  2. add the oil and sliced onions and cook away until they are soft and caramelised.  This will take about 20 minutes over a low heat.
  3. add the blackberries, garlic, vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved
  4. bring to a boil and then gently simmer for about 30-40 minutes. However this time will depend on the moisture in your ingredients.
  5. the marmalade is cooked when thickened and a wooden spoon leaves a trail in the pan when its pulled through. 
  6. pour into hot sterilised jars.  You can remove the whole spices but I like to leave them in - just remember to warn people before they take a big mouthful!   
  7. store in a cool dark place and once opened store in the fridge. 
  8. can be eaten the next day but is much better if you can leave for at least a week or so for the flavours to mix and mellow.  

If you like this recipe you can check out my other preserves and sauces:

blackberry, lavender and orange blossom jam

rhubarb, rose and vanilla jam

hot and sweet chilli, garlic and ginger jam

rose harissa chilli sauce

Four Seasons Food

I have entered my spiced blackberry and onion marmalade onto Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and eat your veg


  1. I recently had the pleasure of making my very first chutney (strawberry rhubarb) and I was so surprised at the savory nature of the fruit. Blackberries sound like they would certainly lend themselves well to a chutney - especially with the onion and anise...

    1. Hi there. Strawberry and rhubarb sounds good too. Really tasty. Thanks for stopping by and your comments - hope you have a great weekend :-)

  2. I'll take a jar please! I absolutely love sweet/savoury marmalades...they work so well with salty, or meaty or cheese foods! I think I prefer a chutney/marmalade to a jam...I don't often opt for jam on toast but I would happily eat it with some cheese! I love the spices you have put in there - this would make a really festive Christmas foodie gift too. But for now, it's a perfect use for those Autumnal blackberries. Thanks again for another fab entry into Four Seasons Food ! x

    1. Thanks so much. Still have a few blackberries left - think I may infuse some gin or vodka ;-)

  3. This sounds amazing! I have blackberries in my freezer that would be perfect for this. Do you water bath or pressure can the jars once you fill them? I can't wait to try this!