Preiselbeere is a fruit commonly found in Austria. It has a tartness like cranberry but is actually closer related to the lingonberry found in America. In some areas of Europe, these are eaten raw as a tart snack but most people use them for making jam. They are also found in many berry sauces on European desserts.
I picked some preiselbeere up at the local grocery store in Vienna the other day. I’ve been snacking on them as a tart palate cleanser to the sweet things we’ve been having here at the Haus. Down the road from where my mission work takes place, there is a very old monastery, Stift Heiligenkreuz, and they serve the best dessert I’ve had so far in Europe. It is called Kloster-Cremeschnitte mit Waldbeeren. That is German for cloister cream slice with wild berry sauce served between puff pastry and topped with whipped cream. Or you could simply call it the most delicious thing on the planet for short! The sauce served on this dessert includes preiselbeere among other wild berries. Because the monastery is within walking distance of campus, we may go there more than once during our stay but it’s a couple miles walk round trip so we always say it’s calorie free.
I’m going to share a recipe I found for Preiselbeere Jam. In the United States, you can use lingonberry or cranberry in replace of the preiselbeere for this recipe. Please note: I have not tried this recipe yet but am sharing it to go along with our talk about preiselbeere.
- 1 cup preiselbeere
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3\4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Sort cranberries and use only the beautiful red berries.
- Pour the berries into a large saucepan, add water and vanilla extract.
- Pour the granulated sugar on the fruit.
- Cook at the lowest temperature for about 1 hour.
- Stir cranberries and sugar over and over, so that the juice comes out of some of the cranberries.
- Slowly increase the temperature and simmer gently.
- Bring the jam to a boil and cook for 4-8 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
- If you would like to keep the jam stored longer, follow proper procedure for canning jams and jellies.