Goddess of Cake

Lingonberry Squares for Stressed Activists
September 23, 2009, 16:25
Filed under: Baking | Tags: , ,

For the past few months I’ve been part of an organising crew of a big urban festival and a seminar with the theme of food. What is good food, what is environmentally sound to eat, who produces it, what will we eat in the future? Those questions in mind we launched into organising the 4th Megapolis – festival, called Megapolis2024. Finally, it is getting together, and the next Saturday 26th of September the work of many months will bear its hopefully delicious fruit. If you live in Helsinki or nearby, you should definitely check out the website and come! We will have as our speakers Pietro Leemann, the only vegetarian chef with a Michelin star restaurant, John Higson from Stockholm who has introduced farmer’s markets and other urban projects, Majora Carter from New York Greening the Ghetto – project, and many, many others, in addition to film screenings, hemp burgers and an afterparty with Jimi Tenor. And, as dessert, a free brunch on Sunday, with Michelin star vegetarian food, organised by the Finnish Carrot Mob! Want to meet me in person? I’ll be there, cleaning tables…


Working in voluntary organisations is interesting, frustrating, and often requires patience and a slightly anarchistic mindset. Money is scarce, so personal connections and persuasiveness are put to good use. People get irritated, attracted, form alliances and friendships, or in worst case, stalk off and never return. Issues of control and power are lurking in the background, but we try to put them aside by politeness and understanding. Because, aren’t we all on the same mission towards a sustainable future, and grown up people as well?

While following 50 emails long winding mail – threads, having heated discussions with the lady from the Department of Housing about a truck container – that – actually – is – really – small – sized – container – indeed, and having nightmares about organising something or other every night, it is easy to forget why you actually got into the whole business originally. Then the happening is over, and so what? Did we have an impact, do few more people think at the table and make a better choice? Did they understand that with every bite, they can change the world? Who knows, since we cannot measure these things. We can only hope, and make a batch of super – unhealthy lingonberry squares for the next meeting, to keep our spirits and blood sugar levels up.

Lingonberry Squares

This recipe is basically a traditional Finnish pastry, called Aleksanterin leivos, Alexander’s Tart. I think it is named after a Russian Emperor. I tweaked the recipe a bit with lingonberries and spelt flour, but they are still very sweet, a bit too sweet for my taste actually. Okriina from Kahvila Vegaani made some really nice healthy lingonberry squares that you can check out if you understand Finnish.

lingonberry squares 2 copy

The Batter

300 g vegetable margarine, nondairy butter etc.

2,5 dl sugar

2 dl whole spelt flour

4 wheat flour

2 tsp egg replacer

1,5 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla sugar

The Jam

5 dl lingonberries

3/4 sugar with pectin

The Icing

5 dl powdered sugar

3,5 – 5 tbsp lingonberry juice

First I made the batter: I mixed the dry ingredients and then kneaded in the margarine. I put it to the fridge to wait, for 30 minutes.

Then I cooked the jam: I put the lingonberries in a cooking pot, and heated it until steam started to rise. Then I added the sugar, and let it boil for some minutes. When it started to look like jam, I took it off the stove and allowed it to cool some time. You can of course use ready made jam as well, you should have about 3,5 dl of it.

Then I assembled the pastry. I divided the dough into two parts, and rolled the other half in between two layers of baking parchment, so that it was about the size of an oven plate (35cm x 25 cm). Then I put in on an oven plate, and covered it evenly with the lingonberry jam. After that I rolled out the other half, which I then carefully transferred on top of the previous one, with the help of the baking parchment. I did have to patch a bit here and there.

I baked the pastry in 200 ºC for 30 minutes. I allowed it to cool, and then made the icing, by mixing the lingonberry juice and powdered sugar. I made also some white icing, with powdered sugar and water, and made some crazy swirls on top of the pink layer (it was late at night…) I didn’t have any juice, so I made some by grinding some lingonberries through a sieve. Finally, when the icing had set after a few hours, I cut the pastry into small squares using a sharp knife.


10 Comments so far
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Olisikin mielenkiintoista olla Helsingissä,kun on tuo tapahtuma.Tuollaisessa vapaaehtoisessa järjestötyössä voi olla tekemisen iloa tai sitten suurta turhautuneisuutta,sellaisesta on kokemusta,mutta toivottavasti tuo tapahtuma todellakin jättää jotain sellaista,josta on hyötyä myös sen jälkeen.
Herkullisen näköiset puolukkaruudut!

Comment by Yaelian

Mmmm! I’ll check out both recipes–thanks for sharing! I’d never tried lingonberries before coming to Finland, and I’m never quite sure what to do with them, so this is very welcome. 🙂

And best of luck with the event tomorrow!

Comment by Michele at A House Called Nut

I wish I could come to Megapolis2024! It sounds like it will be such a good time, Majora is a bit of a celeb over here…in the urban planning/architecture/sustainable living world :). So neat you helped plan this thing and are now seeing it happen! So satisfying!

Comment by tricia

Your squares sure look pretty and delish! I’m sure Meagpolis2024 will be worth of all the hard work. I’m definitely gonna come!

Comment by Okriina

Thanks for all your encouragement, Yaelian, Michele, Tricia and Okriina! I’m sure everything will be great in Megapolis, even if right now all the last minute catastrophies are taking place.. But there is still a bit of time to get everything organised.

Comment by goddessofcake

This looks super delicious! I was wanting to make something with some Farmer’s Market jam I have…this looks like a winner! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

Comment by Sara

Those squares look great! I am absolutely dying to try lingonberries, but they don’t exist around here, unfortunately. I hope the festival was a hit, it sounds like a great cause!

Comment by Angela

Thanks Sara and Angela! Angela: Lingonberries have a really original taste, but I think that often they can be subsituted with cranberries, they are a little bit similar in taste. Those you have in Canada, as far as i understand 🙂

Comment by goddessofcake

[…] since I saw these babies on Goddess of Cake, I knew I wanted some! Lingonberry Squares for Stressed Activists! Of course, I didn’t have any lingonberries on hand, but I did have some delicious […]

Pingback by Raspberry Squares « The Innocent Primate Vegan Blog

Oh man, these were super good! I did convert the ingredients from the metric, and perhaps in my conversion something happened, but it didn’t cook at 200 for 30 minutes. I had to increase the temp to 300F. Oh man, I’m an idiot..I just realized you were writing that in Celsius…well..okay then..haha… but they were super good!!!!

Comment by Sara

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