Lingonberries contain a lot of naturally occurring benzoic acid, something that industry adds to many preserves and jams to help them keep. The levels are so high that lingonberries just don’t go bad. 

You can use fresh or frozen berries. It makes no difference to the end result. Especially in northern Scandinavia and Finland, we eat sugared lingonberries on so many things, sweet and savoury and they all seem to benefit from a good scoop of sweet and astringent ruby loveliness.

700 g



Skill level

Average: 5 (3 votes)


  • 500 g lingonberries
  • 200 g sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the lingonberries and sugar in a large bowl and mix with a spoon.

Keep the bowl at room temperature and stir from time to time, until the sugar has dissolved. It should take a while for this to happen, at least overnight. Refrigerate when done.


Recipe from The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson, with photography by Erik Olsson (Phaidon, $59.99, hbk).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.