I have only been able to find plain lingonberry jam in some select stores so I figured since I have all this beautiful fruit frozen waiting to be used, why not just throw it all together. I decided to go with preserves, which by nature have a softer set then jam and normally contain large chunks of fruit. It is sort of like a chunky berry syrup that just begs to be laid atop Saturday morning crepes or Swedish pancakes. The lingonberries are full of pectin so there is no need to add any commercial products. I also wanted these preserves to be as natural as possible so I sweetened them with honey and two whole vanilla beans instead of white sugar.
Vanilla Cherry Berry Preserves
5 lbs frozen fruit (2 lbs strawberries, 1.5 lbs lingonberries*, 1.5 pounds tart cherries)
2 cups of honey
2 whole vanilla beans
*You can purchase fresh lingonberries here. But you could also try using regular cranberries instead.
Place the frozen fruit and honey in a large bowl and let it defrost and macerate for several hours or overnight to release all the juices from the fruit. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold about 4 pints. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer. Place the fruit In a large dutch oven or jam pan. Split open the vanilla beans and scrape out all the seeds with a knife. Add both the seeds and the split bean to the fruit. Bring the fruit to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Watch the pan closely because strawberries and honey will create a lot of foam. Continue to boil the preserves until they become thick about 15-30 minutes more. (My preserves were ready when they reached 215°F) You can perform the freezer test to make sure of the set. Remove the split vanilla beans and skim off any foam. Funnel the preserves into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Allow the jars to cool completely. Store sealed jars without rings for up to one year.