Harvest Kitchen Lingonberries

Winter 2000-2001
Drawing by Toki Oshima
Toki Oshima drawing

By Roberta Bailey

While visiting a friend and touring his high bush blueberry patch, I was taken by the thick understory of shiny leaved plants covered in small red berries. Lingonberries, he informed me, then went on to explain that this cranberry-blueberry relative made a great second crop in an area where he was already mulching and maintaining an acidic, weed-free environment. We went inside to a delicious breakfast of pancakes and lingonberry sauce, which was tart and sweet all at once.

Since then, I have been collecting recipes to share with you. Fresh or frozen lingonberries can be substituted in any blueberry or cranberry recipe. They can be frozen by putting them in freezer containers and putting them in the freezer.

Lingonberry Sauce

Wash and sort 1 quart of lingonberries. Cook in 1 cup of water until they pop. Press through a sieve or purée in a food processor. Add 2 cups sugar or 1 cup honey and boil for 3 minutes. Pour into hot, sterile, pint canning jars leaving 1/2″ headspace, seal, and processing in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Lingonberry Butter

(Excellent on meats or bread)

2-1/2 lb. lingonberries

2/3 cups cider

1 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a large stainless steel or enamel kettle, combine berries and juice and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Purée in a food processor or blender. Return purée to the kettle and add maple syrup, honey and cinnamon. Cook until thick, 15 to 30 minutes. Spoon into hot, scalded, half-pint jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace, and seal. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: 6 half pints

Lingonberry Corn Muffins

1 cup corn meal

1/4 cup honey

4 tsp. baking powder

1 cup milk or soymilk

1 beaten egg

1 cup flour

3/4 tsp. salt

1 cup lingonberries

2 Tbsp. melted butter

Sift dry ingredients together; add berries. Add milk and butter and honey to eggs. Combine two mixtures, stirring only until all ingredients are dampened. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes OR pour into a greased 9×9″ pan and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

Lingonberry-Apricot Gelatin


1 cup hot water

2 Tbsp. gelatin

Blend well; add:

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)

1/2 cup oil

1 cup water

1 cup dried apricots

1-1/2 cup fresh lingonberries

Add lingonberries last, blend only until well chopped. Pour into a cake pan and let set. The fruit will rise to the top leaving a creamy bottom layer.

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