Friday, November 5, 2010

It's lingonberry time!

We love the zingy taste of lingonberries – and their cheery red sparkle – in all sorts of dishes at this time of year. Lingonberries can be used in any recipe that calls for cranberries, but be sure to use less sugar than the cranberry recipe calls for, since lingonberries are naturally sweeter. They are sweeter than their close relative – cranberries – and share many of the same nutritional benefits (high vitamin C content, potent antioxidants). For starters,
  • Use them as a garnish for pancakes, waffles, French toast or crepes
  • Add to fruit pies or cobblers
  • Stir into cookie, muffin, scone or sweet bread dough
  • Make sauces and relishes to accompany poultry and meats
  • Toss into green salads.

Since they are available fresh for only a few weeks in November, we freeze them for later use. Just spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, put them in the freezer overnight, then measure them by the cupful into zip-lock bags and return them to the freezer.

Try out some of these delicious recipes straight from the resident lingonberry expert herself, Susan.

Lingonberry Relish

2 cups lingonberries

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup orange juice plus ¼ cup water

1 tsp grated orange zest (optional)

Cook over medium heat until the mixture is somewhat thickened, for 7-10 minutes. Cool and serve or refrigerate. (Serves 4)

Fresh Lingonberry-Fruit Relish

2 cups lingonberries

¼ orange, unpeeled

¼ apple, unpeeled

3-4 Tbsp. local honey

Cut the orange in quarters, core the apple and cut in quarters, and chop (with rind) in food processor. Add lingonberries and pulse until mixed, but not pureed. Stir in the honey and refrigerate for at least 2 days and up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled or at room temperature. (Serves 6-8)

Favorite Lingonberry Bread

This is a family favorite, handed down from Susan’s mom, who used to make it with cranberries.

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached white flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

½ cup butter

1 Tbsp orange zest

1½ cups orange juice

2 eggs

2 cups fresh lingonberries

3/4 cup raisins

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Sift dry ingredients together (or mix in food processor). Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine orange zest, orange juice and eggs; add to dry ingredients, mixing just to moisten. Fold in berries, raisins and nuts. Turn into 2 greased and floured 9x5 loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Pumpkin/Squash Lingonberry Bread

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

½ tsp allspice

½ tsp nutmeg

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup lingonberries

Combine flour, spices, baking powder and salt. Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin or squash and oil in a mixing bowl and beat until just blended. Stir the wet mixture into the dry with a wooden spoon until the batter is just moistened. Fold in the lingonberries. Spoon the batter into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-50 minutes.

Apple Lingonberry Bread

2 eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 cups chopped, peeled tart apples

1 cup lingonberries

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; add to egg mixture must until combined. Stir in the apples and lingonberries. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes.

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