What to Do with Ground Cherries

Ground Cherry Pie
Ground Cherry Marmalade

Also known as husk tomatoes, after one of its botanical relatives, or cape gooseberries, these tart-sweet tidbits can be used in the same array of ways as tomatoes — eaten raw such as in salads, added as a flavoring for meat or vegetable dishes, cooked into sauces or turned into relishes, chutneys, jellies or jams. Since they are quite sweet, they also serve well in desserts such as pies. By one account I came across in Googling ground cherries, they are good dipped in chocolate. Here are two classic ground cherry recipes.

ground cherries

Ground cherries from the Green Barn Farmers Market in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 18, 2010

Ground Cherry Pie [top]

3 cups ground cherries
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 9-inch pie shell

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Remove ground cherries from husk, rinse and place in unbaked pie shell. Mix the brown sugar with 1 tablespoon flour and sprinkle over cherries. Sprinkle water over top. Mix together 3 tablespoons flour and 3 tablespoons white sugar. Cut butter in until crumbly and sprinkle over the top of the cherry mixture.

3. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake for 25 minutes.

Ground Cherry Marmalade [top]

(makes 7 half-pint jars)

3 cups ground cherries, husked and washed
2 cups pears cooked, drained, and finely diced
¾ cup water
½ cup crushed pineapple (drained)
¼ cup lemon juice
7 cups sugar
3 ounces liquid fruit pectin

1. Combine ground cherries, pears, and water. Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes.

2. Add the pineapple, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil. Add pectin and boil for 3 more minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir marmalade for 3 minutes, periodically skimming foam from the top..

4. Pour into hot sterilized jars, process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes and seal.