Christmas recipes: confiture of shallots

Confiture of shallots recipe

  • Moderate

A wholesome party delicacy made with fresh produce from the garden. Recipe Lia Leendertz, photographs Jason Ingram, styling Clare Gardner-Medwin


This recipe by Oded Schwartz is about the most luxurious thing you can do with a shallot. The flavour improves over time, so ideally leave it for at least a year. Serve with cheese or cold meats, and consider using it for presents at Christmas time.



  • Shallots 1.5kg
  • Salt 200g
  • Water Enough to cover
  • Cardamom pods 4
  • Cinnamon sticks    2
  • Strips of lemon zest  3
  • Small dried bird’s eye chillies 2
  • White vinegar 2 litres
  • Preserving or granulated sugar 1kg
  • Whole cloves  15g
  • Caraway seeds 15g
  • Ground chilli 15g


  • Step 1

    Peel shallots, keeping the root end whole.

  • Step 2

    Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the shallots, and pour over, weighing them down with a plate. Leave for 24 hours.

  • Step 3

    Tie lemon zest, cardamom, cinnamon and chillies in a square of muslin.

  • Step 4

    Put vinegar and sugar in a large saucepan. Add the spice bag and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.

  • Step 5

    Boil for 10 minutes and skim. Add remaining spices.

  • Step 6

    Drain shallots and add to the boiling syrup.

  • Step 7

    Reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

  • Step 8

    Take off heat, cool, cover and leave overnight.

  • Step 9

    Next day, bring slowly to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

  • Step 10

    Cool and leave overnight as before.

  • Step 11

    On the third day, bring slowly to the boil again and simmer gently, until shallots turn a clear golden brown.

  • Step 12

    Bottle in hot, sterilised jars and seal while hot. Store in a cool, dark place.