Lingonberries, also known as mountain cranberries, cowberries and partridgeberries, are small red fruits native to Scandinavian countries, areas of Canada and in parts of Alaska. Recognized for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, these tiny berries grow wild on an evergreen bush called Vaccinium vitis-idaea, a member of the heath family. At first glance they are very reminiscent of cranberries, and yet, they are less tart, a bit more delicate in aroma and infinitely edible.
I had the pleasure of using wild lingonberries (I used frozen) a few days ago to make an upside down cake for a gathering at a neighbor's house. The results were well worth the effort of tracking down wild lingonberries. Click here to buy the exact berries that I used from Northwest Wild Foods.
For the recipe itself, I turned to the trusted experts at King Arthur Flour. Their Harvest Apple Cranberry Cake looked like the perfect base to use for this particular dessert. All I did was swap out the cranberries for lingonberries, and omit a few of the ingredients from the topping. I wanted the lingonberries to stand out so that my friends could truly taste the wonder of these nutrient-packed edible jewels.
Take a look!
|Lingonberry Upside Down Cake on a Caramel Glass Cake Stand|
Follow the easy instructions for the cake base as per the King Arthur Flour Recipe.
For the topping, simply omit the melted butter, the boiled cider and the apple. It really doesn't need it.
Spread out the frozen lingonberries on the bottom of the prepared pan and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the berries. Add the thick cake batter and spread it evenly to cover. Bake as directed.
Note: It took 45 minutes for my cake to bake completely. When inverting the cake onto a cooling rack, be sure to have the cake rack set over a sheet pan, because there will be juice overflow from the hot berries.
Once completely cool, center the cake on a pretty cake stand. This particular one is from Martha by Mail made by the L.E. Smith Glass Co. here in Pennsylvania. It is a prized pedestal in my home.
It's entirely up to you how you want to serve the cake. You can leave it as is and serve with some softly whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream or with a nice pot of tea.
I do think the cake is greatly enhanced with a sprinkling of confectioners sugar. This can be done right before serving so that the sugar doesn't dissolve. Cut slices as generously as your guests see fit.
Aren't you tempted? I know that this dessert is going to be made again in the coming month for my family. In fact, I think I want to serve it for Thanksgiving instead of the usual pies that I make. The only thing that I will do differently the next time I give this a go is to bake it in an 8" round cake pan instead of a 9". I think the smaller cake pan will give it a much taller and more substantial look.
Before I forget, if you happen to have a Martha by Mail caramel glass cake stand, this is the type of dessert to place on one. It looks amazing set against this particular color of glass.