Sweetened lingonberries

Rårörda lingon

Sweetened Swedish lingonberries (rårörda lingon) in a jar

Rårörda lingon (sweeten lingonberries) are a popular accompaniment to main courses in Sweden, especially some of the classic Swedish dishes such as:

• Köttbullar (meatballs),
• Äggkaka (egg cake),
• Kåldomar (stuffed cabbage rolls),
Stekt strömming (fried Baltic herring),
Raggmunk (potato pancakes).

Lingonberries growing on a bush in Sweden

Lingonberries grow in the wild in Sweden on small bushes in woodlands and on moorlands. They ripen in August/September when many Swedes pick their own berries, but they are also sold on markets. Although the berries look attractive they are not pleasant to eat raw as they are quite bitter.

Rårörda lingon is made by adding sugar to the berries and stirring them (or shaking them) until the sugar dissolves. (Rårörda is really two words joined together: means raw and rörda means moved/stirred/shaken.) John Duxbury


Recipe summary for sweetened Swedish lingonberries (rårörda lingon)


• I have never seen fresh lingonberries for sale in the UK, but you can often find frozen lingonberries for sale in specialist stores or online.
• Rårörda lingon will keep almost definitely thanks to the high level of benzoic acid in the berries which acts as a natural preservative. However, the colour will fade after a couple of months, so it is best not to keep them too long.
• Keep rårörda lingon in a cool dark place, such as in a fridge.
Lingonsylt (lingonberry jam) keeps better, but the texture and flavour is not quite as good.
• IKEA sell lingonsylt, but not rårörda lingon.


100 g (4 oz) lingonberries, fresh or defrosted
50+ g (2+ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

The quantities above are sufficient for 4 servings, but I usually make a larger batch. Simply weigh your lingonberries and add half their weight in sugar initially. For example, if you have 900 g (2 lb) of lingonberries you will need to start with 450 g (1 lb) of sugar.


1. Pick over the berries to remove any leaves or twigs, rinse them and then drain them so the berries are reasonably dry.

2. Weigh the berries and put them in a bowl or a jar.

3. Add 50% by weight of caster (superfine) sugar. Stir or shake every now and again until the sugar has all dissolved, which might take a day or more. Have a taste and add a little more sugar if desired, but avoid adding so much sugar that it will not dissolve. (Some people squash some of the berries with the back of a spoon to release some of their juice to make it easier to dissolve the sugar, but I try and avoid doing this as I think rårörda lingon looks better with as many whole berries as possible.)

4. Store until required in sterilised jars*.

*Sterilise jars by washing them in a dishwasher or by putting the rinsed jars in an oven at 125ºC (250ºF, gas ½, fan 120ºC) for 10 minutes. Let the jars cool before filling them.


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