So Berry Good
Sweden is Berry Heaven on Earth!
I LOVE BERRIES!! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries...you name it....!! However, in Singapore these berries are imported from America, Peru, Australia, Mexico, South Africa and Spain. So, all along I've only known the taste of berries from these countries.
It is not until I came to Sweden that I really tasted the TRUE taste of berries (and other fruits, of course!). Grown organically or in the wild...especially those found in the wild...
Remember the scene in "Ratatouille" when Anton Ego took a bite from the plate of ratatouille prepared by Remy the mouse? That was how it was for me.
Other than the Swedish strawberries and smultron which I wrote about it in the previous blog, there are other Swedish berries that will get you addicted to.
Lingonberries are often made into sylt (jam) or sås (sauce) as they are rarely eaten raw. If you happened to be in IKEA, you may see both lingonsylt and rårörda lingon. They both taste good. Rårörda lingon is sweetened lingonberries. Though they may look the same but they are prepared differently.
Depending on where you are on the planet at the moment, fresh berries are often best to make sauce or jam. If fresh lingonberries is accessible to you, that's awesome! However, if lingonberries are only available to you in the frozen section, you are allowed to use them to make these.
The high level of benzoic acid in the berries which acts as a natural preservative will keep the rårörda lingon long but the colour will fade after a couple of months. Best not to keep them too long.
This one is super easy to make. No cooking needed. This recipe is adapted from Arla Köket.
1dl* caster sugar (superfine)
Prepare the jars!
Remember to prepare your jar first. Sterilise. You can do so by washing them in a dishwasher or by putting the rinsed jars in an oven at 125ºC for 10 minutes. Do not worry if you do not have a dishwasher or oven. I usually boil some water (100ºC) and place my jars in the boiling water for a couple of minutes. Most jam jars can withstand the heat. Let the jars cool before filling them.
Why do I need to sterilise my jam jar?
Sterilising is essential when making any kind of preservatives. Sterilising the jars remove bacteria, fungi or yeasts hence protecting the food you fill into the jar. Jars which are not properly cleaned will cause the food to spoil easily. It is a quick and easy process and should never be omitted.
If you pick the berries from the wild or bought them fresh from the market, be sure to remove any twigs or leaves. You wouldn't want to eat leaves or twigs! Give them a good rinse and drain them so the berries are fairly dry.
If you are using frozen lingonberries, remember to thaw them first.
Put the berries in a bowl. If you like, you can squash some of the berries with the back of a spoon to release some of the juice to make it easier to dissolve the sugar. If you prefer a wholesome rårörda lingon, then you can leave this step out.
Add sugar and stir every now and then until all the sugar is dissolved. This may take a day or more. Have a taste.
Add a little more sugar if desired, but avoid adding too much sugar that it will not dissolve.
Scoop the prepared mix into your cooled, sterilised jar and store in the the fridge.
If you prefer to put the berries directly into your sterilised jar, you can do that as well. Remember to lock the jam lid tight enough before shaking it (to dissolve the sugar) or you'd have splatters of lingon on your kitchen floor...hehehe! Play 'Jump in the line (Shake Señora)' in the background while shaking the jar. A great workout in the kitchen!
Remember to put a date on the jar so you can keep track of their "best before" and do refrigerate for longer shelf life.
Serve rårörda lingon with your köttbullar, äggkaka (egg cake), kåldomar (stuffed cabbage rolls), stekt strömming (fried herring) or raggmunk (potato pancakes).
This lingonberry jam recipe takes only 10 minutes to make. This recipe yields more than one jam jar so make sure you have a few jars prepared. Homemade jams can make great gifts for family and friends.
Again, remember to sterilise your jars first before making the jam.
1kg lingon (about 1.7litres)
5dl caster sugar (alternatively you can use 2dl caster sugar and 3dl syltsocker or jam sugar, if it is available)
Clean your fresh lingonberries in a bowl of water so that the debris floats up. Then pour off the water and rinse the berries. If you are using frozen lingonberries, you can immediately put them in a saucepan.
Boil the water together with the lingonberries in a saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir at regular intervals. Dilute with a little more water if needed.
Add the sugar while stirring and cook for a few more minutes.
Remove the pan and let it cool for a few minutes. Pour the jam into cleaned, sterilised jars and put the lid on.
Remember to put a date on the jar to keep track of their shelf life and refrigerate when the jam has cooled thoroughly.
Serve chilled if serving with pancakes, serve warm if serving with meatballs.
*1dl (weight) = 100g
**1dl (volume) = 100ml
If you like to read more about Swedish berries, go to Scandinavia Standard to find out more.
Enjoy making your own rårörda lingon and lingonberry jam !! Share your day making them and tag us on our IG @fikadrottning_podcast!