Cheeseburger With Apples and Onion Drip Jam

Cheeseburger with apple and onion drip jam and arugula on a homemade bun.

This cheeseburger with apples and onion drip jam celebrates that lovely sweet and savory combo. The sweetness of the apples and onion jam is balanced by a slightly spicy kick from the arugula and stoneground mustard.

Cheeseburger With Apples and Onion Drip Jam

Recipe by Dee


  • Apple and Onion Drip Jam
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 crisp apple, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes, about 3/4 cup

  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple

  • 2 tbsp. stoneground mustard

  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, divided

  • 1/4 tsp. chili flakes

  • Kosher salt

  • Cheeseburger
  • 6 oz. burger patty

  • 1-2 slices sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 burger bun

  • Kosher salt

  • Neutral oil like grapeseed or canola

  • Arugula


  • Apple and Onion Drip Jam
  • Place a 10 inch stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the diced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions, stirring often, until translucent.
  • Add the brown sugar, apple, pineapple, stoneground mustard, chili flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice to the skillet. Stir to combine, then bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened. You should be able to drag a spoon through the jam and leave a clear trail that slowly fills back in. Taste the jam, and if it tastes like it needs something, add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice. Taste again, and if it still tastes like it needs something, add a small pinch of salt.
  • Remove the jam from the heat and let it cool (it will thicken more as it cools). The jam should keep in the fridge in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks.
  • Cheeseburger
  • Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat for 4 minutes, then add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Sprinkle one side of the burger patty with salt, then carefully place the burger on the hot skillet, salted side down. Sprinkle salt on the top side of the burger and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the burger and place a hamburger press or small skillet on top of the burger. Cook for another 5 minutes (*see note). Remove the press, top the burger with the cheese, and let it melt for about 1 minute. Remove the burger from the pan.
  • Assemble the Burger
  • Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary, then add the buns sliced sides down. Toast until golden brown, then remove from the pan.
  • Spread some of the apple and onion drip jam to the bottom bun, then top with the cheeseburger and a handful of arugula. Either spread more onion jam or stoneground mustard on the top bun and place on top of the burger. Enjoy!


  • You should be able to find onion jam in your local grocery store if you don’t want to make your own. Look for it in the deli aisle near the fancy cheeses.
  • The amount of time it takes for your burger to be done depends on the thickness of the patty. The thicker the patty, the longer it takes. The burgers I used were about one half of an inch thick and took 5 minutes on each side for them to cook to medium doneness. I highly recommend buying a digital meat thermometer to be sure they are done to your liking.
    • Medium-rare: 130-135 Fahrenheit or 54-57 Celsius
    • Medium: 140-145 Fahrenheit or 60-63 Celsius
    • Medium-well: 150-155 Fahrenheit or 65- 68 Celsius
    • Well done: 160 Fahrenheit or 71 Celsius
  • I like to use a press after flipping the burgers because it began to poof up in the center. I got my 8 ounce burger presses from The Chef’s Press (not an affiliate), but you can use a small skillet or some other type of weight.
  • Add the onion jam to a grilled cheese sandwich, stir into mac and cheese, or use it as an alternative to pizza sauce to make a bacon, cheddar, and arugula pizza.
Cheeseburger with apple and onion drip jam and arugula on a homemade bun.

Ramblings: About That Book Food

Many of my food stories started as: heard of a meal as a child and thought it sounded weird, then tried the food as an adult and thought “Wait… This is actually really good!”

For example, apples and onions as a meal or side dish.

I first heard of it when I read Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Almanzo went on and on about how much he loved apples and onions, and I’ll admit, ten year old me judged him for it.

Seriously, why would anyone combine apples and onions?

Why indeed.


I’d like to apologize on behalf of ten year old me. She didn’t know any better.

Because the combination of apples and onions, particularly in this apples and onion drip jam, is so good.

I’ve been putting it in everything. Not just in this cheeseburger but also in a few recipes I’m working on for our community page. There are a few tweaks that I need to work out for those, but I’ll figure it out soon.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this cheeseburger with apples and onion drip jam!

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