Lingonberry jam is very simple to make yourself from frozen or fresh berries in just 10 minutes. Lingonberry jam is simply a must with many Swedish and Finnish dishes like meatballs, reindeer stew, and cabbage rolls. In Swedish, lingonberry jam is called lingonsylt, Norwegian tyttebærsyltetøj and in Finnish puolukkahillo.
Lingonberry jam tastes quite tangy, but at the same time, is sweet and slightly bitter, but not as much as cranberries. It is quite a special jam since it can be served both with savory foods as well as with sweet desserts.
Why you´ll love this recipe
- In only 10 minutes, you have boiled your own jam with just two ingredients and water!
- Tastes just like Ikea lingonberry jam.
- You can adjust the tartness and sweetness with a sugar-amount just perfect for your taste buds.
Where to pick lingonberries
Lingonberries are small, red berries that grow in cold, northern regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. In Scandinavia, especially Finland, Sweden, and Norway, you can find them in almost every forest. They thrive in forests with pine trees.
Lingonberries are easy and quick to pick. They become red in the autumn, August, and September. We pick them with a berry picker with metallic comb. A scooping device so the picking is more effective. (marjapoimuri-fin, bärplockare -swe)
Tip: if you picked lingonberries that are still white, just let them rest for a few days at room temperature, and they will usually ripen on their own.
In Finland, we often use something called hillosokeri, jam sugar. It has some pectin added to it. Lingonberries contain pectin naturally so you don't need any additional to make lingonberry jam. IF you want to have a very hard consistency, more like marmalade, then additional pectin can be added.
- If you're using fresh lingonberries, remove any stems or leaves and rinse them. If you're using frozen berries, let them thaw first. Place the berries and water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- When the berries begin to burst and release their juice, add the sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes. The lingonberries will break down and the mixture will thicken slightly.
- As the jam simmers, a foam might form on the surface. Skim this off with a spoon for a clearer jam. Transfer the hot jam to sterilized jars.
- Seal and store in the refrigerator.
- The jam is more runny as warm but will set as it could down and get the right consistency in the fridge.
- The amount of sugar can be adjusted based on how tart or sweet you want your jam to be.
- If you are serving your lingonberry jam with pancakes or some dessert, you can add as flavor one cinnamon stick and one teaspoon of vanilla sugar.
What to serve lingonberry jam with?
With savory options
- Meatballs and potatomash-Lingonberry jam is most traditionally served with Swedish meatballs, mash, and pressed cucumber as in the picture.
- Cabbage rolls-Cabbage rolls are enjoyed in all of Scandinavia with lingonberry jam, often accompanied by potato mash and quick pickled cucumber slices.
- Baltic herring steaks- Silakkapihvi is especially a Finnish delicacy. Some people enjoy lingonberries even with these and some mash of course.
- Liver beef- leverbiffar. Beefs made from ground liver or just cut up fried liver.
- Raggmunk-Swedish savory potato pancakes with bacon are enjoyed with lingonberry jam.
- Poronkäristys-This Finnnish delicacy reindeer stew craves for lingonberry jam.
- Maksalaatikko-liver rice casserole is a Finnish delicacy enjoyed with lingon.
- Makaronilaatikko- some like to eat this macaroni casserole with lingonberries instead of ketchup.
With sweeter foods
- Spinach pancakes- These are a Finnish delicacy, check for recipe in my blog.
- Savory carrot pancakes- carrot pancakes are also a Finnish delicacy
- Oven pancake- Enjoyed both in Sweden and Finland.
- Nettle pancakes- This is also a Finnish delicacy
- Rye porridge- lingonberries go well together with rye.
- Oat and semolina porridge-lingonberry jam is quite traditional with these porridge types aswell.
Lingonsylt can be kept in the fridge for up to a month in unopened jars. If opened, it keeps for about 1-2 weeks.
If you want to make preserved jam that keeps for many months in unopened jars then follow proper canning and preserving procedures like sterilizing the jars and then boiling in water bath for a proper seal.
- 2 cups lingonberries (300 grams)
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoon water
- If you're using fresh lingonberries, remove any stems or leaves and rinse them. If you're using frozen berries, let them thaw first.
- Place the berries and water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the sugar when the berries begin to burst and release their juice. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Let simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes. The lingonberries will break down and the mixture will thicken slightly.
- As the jam simmers, a foam might form on the surface. Skim this off with a spoon for a clearer jam.
- Transfer the hot jam to sterilized jars. Seal and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.