Lingonberry or Cranberry Jam

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Lingonberries are everywhere in Finland, growing in clumps on small bushes. They make a tart, sourish jam that is delicious served with meats and game; try it with your Christmas turkey or alongside a baked ham. Make it in a heavy-based saucepan suitable for making jam. You might need to adjust the amount of sugar, depending on the tartness of your berries. The jam will be ready to eat once it has cooled, but you can also seal it in jars (while still hot) and store for when you need it.

Ingredients

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) frozen or fresh lingonberries or cranberries
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small apple, peeled and cored

Method

Rinse the berries, if necessary, then drain well and put them in a non-metallic bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Leave overnight, turning once or twice.

Coarsely grate the apple and put it into a jam-making pan or other heavy-based saucepan with the grated lemon rind. Strain in all the juice from the berries and add two wooden-spoonfuls of berries, leaving the rest of the berries in the bowl for now. Add 125 ml (Β½ cup) water and simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until the apple is very soft and the whole lot has thickened. Add the rest of the berries and heat through for 5–8 minutes. Pour into sterilised jars. Seal tightly and turn upside down. Cover with a cloth and leave to cool completely, before turning upright and storing in a cool place. The jam will keep for a couple of months but, once open, keep it in the fridge and use fairly quickly.