Feast on Swedish raw potato dumplings with sugared lingonberries
It is time to expand your Swedish culinary knowledge from meatballs and $1 IKEA hot dogs, and open your mind to the world of Magnus Nilsson. Magnus heads up Fäviken Magasinet restaurant in Sweden, which is currently number 19 in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and has drawn on his travels throughout Nordic countries to offer 650 authentic recipes in his new book, The Nordic Cookbook. Featuring delicacies from Denmark, The Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the book takes you on a gourmet journey through the northern countries, with delights such as Norwegian salt cod casserole, slightly chewed caramel shortbreads, and this recipe for Swedish raw potato dumplings with sugared lingonberries.
Swedish raw potato dumplings
Dumplings based on raw potatoes and flour (wheat, barley, rye or a mix of them), are most commonly produced in the more northern parts of Sweden. They are called different things in different parts, but all refer to roughly the same dish. In the northernmost part, a dumpling made from raw potato and flour is called palt, whilst in the southern part of northern Sweden, where I grew up, they are called kams.
This recipe is a flat version with no filling, a bit like a very dense pancake. If this is the case, the name has the old Swedish word for ‘flat’ in front: flatkams or flatpalt. This style of flat dumpling is served with fried salt pork plus the fat from the frying pan and some sugared lingonberries.
The Swedish word paltkoma – palt ‘coma’ – refers to a stage of extreme drowsiness after having eaten too many palt, a very heavy food.
Filling for dumplings
butter, for frying
1 onion, finely chopped
250 g salt pork, cut into small dice
Heat some butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion for a few minutes until it starts to soften. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the salt pork to the cooled onion and mix well.
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. Thanks to this, there is really no point in boiling them into jam and bottling them; you can just add some sugar for flavour and they will keep in a fairly clean jar at the back of your fridge for years. 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. They all seem to benefit from a good scoop of sweet and astringent ruby loveliness.
Preparation and cooking time: five minutes
Resting time: at least overnight
Makes: 650–700 g
500 g lingonberries
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar
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.
Want to discover more about Magnus Nilsson? Read our interview with him here!
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