The Lingonberry Jam is the most important and most consumed jam in Austria, besides the Apricot Jam. Lingonberry Jam, made with the difficult to find Linonberries from the Austrian alps, is used as a breakfast or snack bread topping but that’s not it’s most popular use. Surprisingly to some, Lingonberry Jam is mostly used with savory meat dishes such as the all famous Schnitzel.
Contrary to common believe, the real authentic Schnitzel that originated around the Vienna bay area, Austria’s capital, is prepared with pork or veal meat. Nowadays also turkey meat is commonly used in the preparation of the breaded smashed “steak”, however chicken schnitzel is still a rarity if not completely non existent. So, basically Lingonberry Jam mostly goes hand in hand with pork or veal schnitzel.
The sour and sweet flavor note of Lingonberry jam, with a hint of the mountain flair penetrating the aroma of this unique jam, is a jewel amongst all the jams and something everybody should try for themselves one day. The store bought Lingonberry jam rarely comes close to the real ruby red Lingonberry jam experience and many Austrians would nod in agreement.
Nowadays, most of the local ladies still take the laborious work on their shoulders, by walking far up and through the mountain forests to get to the scattered collections of deeply hidden Lingonberries. The process can be arduous and long, although the thought of collecting a proud amount of shiny red and hard Lingonberries is rewarding enough to drive ones spirit to continue.
Lingonberries are worth the trouble and should be protected before this berry variety is close to extinction. Lingonberries, or Preiselbeere as they are commonly known to the locals in Central Europe, are rich in antioxidants and they own antibacterial properties, which in turn is an indication towards the health benefits. This is also a sign that due to the antioxidants (Vitamin C = Ascorbic Acid) and antibacterial properties, the jam tends to naturally preserve better and thus gelatinizes.
I hope you will get a chance to make or at least try real Lingonberry Jam. It’s a must food experience for any food lover!
- 1 kilogram Lingonberries
- 200 milliliter Water
- 800 grams Sugar
- Wash your Lingonberries and pick out any impurities. Natural lingonberries usually don't have insects and worms in them (compared to raspberries) so the washing should be quick. Weigh the berries and place them into a big cooking pot.
- Add the 200 milliliter water to the berries in the pot and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Mix frequently, the fruits will get a bit softer by cooking them first because lingonberries are hard.
- Add the whole sugar amount to the berries. Mix the content well.
- Cook on slow heat for about 40 mins, while stirring at times, until you can see a rolling boil. At that point the jam should be ready and you can take it from the heat. Test if the jam is set by dropping some on a cold plate, the jam is ready if it doesn't run. If it runs, keep for some more time to cook on low heat and repeat the test until you have the correct consistency.
- Before you fill the jars with the jam, drop little rum on into the lid. That will help to keep the jam from growing mold.
- Fill your clean jam jars with the lingonberry jam, close well with the lid and turn the jars upside down. Keep them upside down for a few hours and then store them in a dry and cool place and keep away from direct sunlight. If you live in a humid tropical climate, please store the jam in the fridge.