We love ground cherries! They are an old, old fruit that is making a comeback. I have even seen them in a grocery store recently! Up until a few short years ago, I had never seen one. Now I have a garden full of them, growing.
They are a small golden fruit in a husk, just like my picture above. The fruit is juicy and sweet, tasting sort of like a pineapple tomato cross. Its very good!
I have old recipes for ground cherry pie and ground cherry jam. I am going to make both this year and ground cherry wine (of course). I might also can some for winter pie filling. We are trying to save freezer space for the corn.
Last year I only grew a few, about six plants, and we got enough fruit to make a pie or two. This year I have A LOT of ground cherries growing. These are my ground cherries. The big ones are now shoulder hight!
I had planted them previously in a dry and not too healthy section of the flowerbed and they only reached about 2 ft in height. This year they are in the well manured lasagna garden. What a difference! They are covered in fruit too!
The fruit looks a lot like a little tomatillo when it is growing and they are related. I grow the Aunt Molly's ground cherry variety. Its the sweetest and the most common.
I don't usually use a recipe to make pies but I have listed the ingredients that I intend to use for the ground cherry pie, below. See previous post, "Making Pies Without A Recipe". This will be the first year that I have made pies and jam with them but I think they will be delicious!
4 cups husked and washed ground cherries
1 cup sugar (they are sweet by themselves)
6 tablespoons flour to start
Directions: Cook in pot until thick. Sweeten to taste and continue to thicken if needed. Pour into unbaked pie shell, cover with top crust and bake at 350F until pastry is golden brown.
I'm not quite sure of the recipe for jam. I am going to find something close on the Certo recipe paper that comes in the box and just use that.
The ground cherries are not ready yet. When they are I will be very busy!! I hope the ground cherries and chichiquelites (garden huckleberries) are not both ready at the same time!!