Caramelizing onions all the time takes longer than you assume it will. That is partially the fault of recipe writers who inform you it’s one thing you are able to do in half an hour, which is simply not true. Positive, you’ll be able to brown onions in half an hour, however caramelization—the method of breaking down lengthy chains of sugar molecules into single sugar molecules, then additional breaking these sugars down into smaller, flavorful molecules—takes not less than 40 minutes for a single onion.
My favourite strategy to caramelize onions is in a pan set over low warmth. There are methods to hurry it up, like including additional sugar and baking soda, however my laziness trumps my impatience each time, so I let the naturally occurring sugar within the onions take their time.
However a sauté pan can solely maintain so many onions. If I would like two or extra onion’s price of jammy, deeply flavored alliums—or have merely run out of range area—I’ll caramelize them within the oven, which takes some time however is pretty arms off, and doesn’t require as watchful of a watch.
You gotta maintain ‘em moist
After I first began caramelizing onions this manner, I discovered a number of recipes that urged including a “splash” of water to maintain the onions from scorching. This was not sufficient. I begin by including an entire cup of water to the pan, and proceed including cups of water to the pan as they prepare dinner. This retains the setting from being too drying, and retains the onions from browning earlier than they caramelize, and is very essential should you’re utilizing your oven’s convection setting.
Aside from onions and water, all you’ll want is somewhat salt and a few olive oil. Then, it’s merely a matter of ready and stirring each quarter-hour or so, till they’re decreased to a deeply coloured, delicate and supple mass of onions, good for including to a dip, soup, or the rest that might use a scoop of candy, candy onions.
Maintain ‘em collectively
When roasting greens, you need to unfold the plant elements out, to maintain them from getting soggy and permit the perimeters to brown and crisp. The latter is the alternative of what we’re going for right here, and the previous is the alternative of what we’re going to do. As an alternative of spreading our onions out on the pan, we’re going to maintain them lumped collectively. This retains everybody moist as they caramelize, and ensures the tip items don’t prepare dinner far more shortly than the onions within the middle.
Along with including water each quarter-hour (or because it evaporates), you’ll need to stir simply as continuously. Do that by scooping the onions off the sheet pan and inverting them, flipping in direction of the middle of the pan so the skin turns into the within and the highest turns into the underside. Towards the tip, because the onions get darker and darker, you’ll need to do that each 10 minutes or so, then each 5, till you attain your required degree of caramelization.
Oven Caramelized Onions
- 2 giant onions, halved and sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
Line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat, or sheet of parchment paper, and warmth your oven to 375℉. Add the onions to the pan, and toss with oil and salt. (Use your arms.)
Collect the onions right into a pile in the midst of the pan, then add 1 cup of water and place on a rack set within the middle of your oven. Cook dinner for quarter-hour, then stir the onions by scooping the onions off the sheet pan and inverting them, flipping in direction of the middle of the pan so the skin turns into the within and the highest turns into the underside. Repeat each quarter-hour till the onions begin to darken and caramelize.
You’ll discover just a few browned, and even burnt bits right here and there, and that’s alright. When you discover this occurring quite a bit, you’ll be able to stir extra continuously, add somewhat extra water, and pat down the onions after stirring to make sure you don’t have any bits sticking up.
As soon as the onions begin to look golden brown, start stirring each 5-10 minutes, till you attain your required degree of caramelization. For 2 giant onions, this takes a few hours. Combine into dips, unfold into grilled cheese sandwiches, or stir into soups or casseroles. You may as well simply eat them with a fork. There’s nothing fairly like them.