Ground Cherry Jam

Ground Cherries

This is the recipe I referenced when I shared the recipe for  Ground Cherry Salsa … AKA Cape Gooseberry Salsa … AKA Husk Cherry Salsa … AKA Peruvian Cherry Salsa … AKA Salsa di Alkekengi … AKA Those-Little-Orange-Thingies-in-the-Paper-Lanterns Salsa. Whatever you call them, the fruit have a unique blend of pineapple and tomato flavors and makes a tasty jam that couldn’t be easier to prepare.

The cherries are husked, rinsed, and placed in a pot with sugar, along with whatever pectin you prefer. I added a little lemon and rosemary just to see how it would taste. In the end, 3 quarts of ground cherries produced 6 small jelly jars (3 half-pints). At $5.00 a quart, this isn’t the cheapest jam to make. Remember, too, that husked ground cherries are considerably less in volume than those still wearing husks. I wish these were the only problems.

I chose to use pectin because it yields more jam than if I relied on the fruit’s natural gelling properties. It can also be made in 1 day whereas jamming without pectin is a 2 day affair. Using pectin, however, resulted in a jam that was a bit too thick for my tastes. This is why I hate discovering a new item at the end of our growing season. I’ll have to wait until next year before I can make more of this jam. Whether I use pectin, I’ll use at least 4 quarts of ground cherries. Either way, I’ll have a tasty jam that’s hopefully easier to spread. While I’m at it, I’d also like to bake a pie with this fruit. (Thanks, Gretchen. Do take a few minutes to check out her fantastic blog, where every recipe is critiqued by 3 very discerning foodies.)

Hmm … Maybe I can get some sort of discount if I buy ground cherries by the crate.

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Ground Cherry Jam 3

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Ground Cherry Jam Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups ground cherries, husked & rinsed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 box pectin
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Place the ground cherries, lemon juice, water, pectin, and rosemary into a heavy bottomed pot over med-high heat. (See Notes)
  2. After they’ve softened a bit, use a potato masher or wooden spoon to mash the cherries to the consistency you prefer.
  3. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil (see Notes).  Add salt and sugar. Stir well.
  4. When the jam returns to a rolling boil, continue heating for 1 minute and then take off the heat. Remove the rosemary sprigs.
  5. Place hot jam immediately into clean, sterile jars, cap, and place in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from bath, set on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts, and do not disturb for 24 hours to allow the tops to properly seal.
  7. Once sealed, store in a cool, dark place. (See Notes)

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Ground Cherry Jam 2

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Notes

Directions may vary slightly depending upon the pectin being used. Be sure to follow the directions on your pectin’s packaging,

A rolling boil is one which continues even while the pot’s contents are stirred.

In the event that a jar does not seal properly, the jam is still good but must be refrigerated and used within a couple of weeks, You can also place the jar in the freezer. I’ve enjoyed jam that has been frozen for several months.

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A scheduling change

It’s no secret that we’re coming to the end of the Bartolini recipe file. I do have a few more recipes, along with a few from Dad’s family, to share but certainly not enough to continue publishing a weekly recipe. So, although I’ll continue to post on Wednesdays, it just won’t be every Wednesday.

Did you hear that? It was a sigh of relief from Zia who just now learned that, after 5 years, I won’t be asking if she has another recipe for me or if she remembers the time when …

(Psst. I’ll still post, just not as often.)

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Figs 1

Since today’s post featured a rather unusual jam, I thought we’d continue down that road and take you back to my Fig Jam with Balsamic and Black Pepper recipe. This is a delicious jam and it pairs very well with pork roasts.  You can read all about it HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Grilled clams 2

Grilled Clams

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67 thoughts on “Ground Cherry Jam

  1. I’m not sure that I’ve tried ground cherries, John, but regular cherries are my absolute fave. I might have to take a look around for these- although it may be a bit late to be finding them in stores, now. I would think that this is a tart jam? Good with cheese, perhaps? Looks lovely, regardless. Thank you for sharing! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Cole. It is far too late to find them now. Their season begins in July and lasts until the first frost. They are a little sweet but, tasting like pineapple mixed with tomato, I think they’d be good in a savory dish. I need more to experiment. This jam, like most, has too much sugar to be anything but sweet. The sugar is needed for the pectin to work and so that the jam is preserved. A fellow commenter mentioned using them to make a fruit paste and serving that with cheese. I really would like to try that!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, I have never used pectin, not that I make that many jams. I love how you added rosemary, that must be lovely and about our fig jam, well, I would be the size of 10 of me if I ate in your home every week. haa haa.
    Have a beautiful day and say hi to Max for me.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the idea of rosemary in this jam! What a fun flavor note! This is good stuff. Will be sorry to see you post less frequently — I guess you’ve been breaking us in for this day over the last year, huh? 🙂 — but will always be happy to see one of your posts You could develop your own recipes, you know (like this one!). Just sayin’. 🙂 I hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, John. Not to worry. It ain’t over till it’s over. I’ve got more recipes to share and will be returning to Italy this Spring. I hope to raid my Zia’s cookbook and get recipes from that side of the family. And as long as I go to farmers markets, there will always be a pasta recipe or two to share. Oh! I almost forgot. I got a new gadget for Christmas. I’m not going anywhere. 🙂

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  4. I’ve just got it! Ground cherries… as in growing on the ground rather than ground up as a process. An aha moment for me 🙂 I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them in Australia. The jam does look like it would be nice on a cheese board.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never thought of “ground” in that way, probably because I was first told that the vendor finds them growing on the ground in her fields. Sandra, in a later comment, says that her daughter Down Under tried to grow them but they fell victim to pests. You’ve got koala bears and we’ve got ground cherries. Balance is maintained. 🙂

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  5. It looks so pretty and I love the idea of the rosemary with it! I too am not blogging so often. I find that right now we’re sticking to old favourites and until I make something wildly new and exciting, “there’s nothing to see here, so move along quietly”! Hope you’re well, I expect it’s very cold now where you are 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tanya, and I know exactly what you mean. Removing the schedule from my posts has already paid benefits. I don’t feel any kind of pressure to get something ready for publication. I’m not stopping, only slowing things down a bit.
      All is well here and hope you can say the same. We’ve had a few glimpses of frigid air and some snow but nothing too bad. We’ve had conflicting projections that this will be a severe/mild winter. Guess which one we’re all hoping for? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cape Gooseberries here in Australia have a very short season and cost big $$$. My daughter tried cultivating a bush but it was continually ravaged by pests. I’ll just have to imagine how good this tastes John. I’ll wait for the fig recipe instead

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s too bad. Your climate is just too good for plants — and their enemies. I’ve heard of them growing wild here in some farmers’ fields. Even so, only 2 vendors sell them at the largest farmers market that I frequent. I should check into planting a plant or two. Hmmm ….

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank God for Sandra’s knowledge as don’t think have ever bought or used Cape Gooseberries . . . . well, don’t make or use jam, but was utterly delighted to meet Gretchen and those handsome food critics of hers . . . . less delighted that our Thursday morning may not always be a ‘Chicago John’ day . . . . hope ‘often’ will replace ‘always’ . . . 😀 !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not to worry,Eha. I’m gonna be around for some time. Slowing down the posting schedule is one way of insuring that. I’ve still have recipes to share and, once I get back from Italy this Spring, I hope to have a few from Dad’s side of the family. First, though, I’m going to have to brush up on my Italian. Conversation and “recipe speak” are 2 different things, or so I learned during my last visit. I’m still trying to make sense of a ravioli recipe I was given. 🙂

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        • It is a fine line, Eha. If we try to wish away winter, that means we’ll be wishing away half of the year. Planning a trip in spring isn’t just something to look forward to. It’s something to occupy oneself that doesn’t involve 3 layers of clothing and a firm resolve. 🙂

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  8. It’s not so long since I’ve ‘discovered’ ground cherries, and I think they would make a wonderful jam. Yours looks so lovey and golden; I bet it tastes great too!

    Have you given any thought to continuing to blog with recipes of your own devising? You’re obviously a talented cook and with your experience I bet you whip up dishes all the time without benefit of recipes! Just a thought …

    Liked by 1 person

    • They do make a wonderful jam, Mar, and I’m looking forward to “playing” with them next summer. I am not the wiz in the kitchen that you and so many others here on WP are. I really do marvel at your inventiveness and abilities. Sure, I can make a mean dish of pasta but I’m not nearly as confident when dealing with other foods and ingredients. I’ve more recipes to share and hope to develop others. Slowing things down a bit will ensure that I’ve plenty of time to do this — I hope. 🙂

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  9. It must feel a little funny to realize you’re actually near the end of the family recipes! It really is quite an accomplishment to have been able to archive so many, and then to publish your family cookbook. I do admire your discipline to do so, John. After today’s recipe I had to do a little research to find out why I don’t have any recollection of seeing a ground cherry. It is called an “exotic fruit” in our groceries, apparently, and I rarely check out that section. But I found this really interesting short article, which I’ll share, and if they can be grown in San Francisco, I should easily be able to grow them in our warmer SoCal climate. I’m really interested and plan to give it a try. I’d love this jam, I’m sure. http://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/chroniclegarden/article/Ground-cherry-is-great-choice-for-novice-gardeners-2462680.php
    I’ll let you know if I have any success…next spring, I presume!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I realized last fall that we were coming to the end, Debra. That’s why I thought the time was right to organize the book. I still have more recipes to share and, after another trip this spring, hope to have more from Dad’s family. Even so, posting weekly will burn through them all rather quickly. Amending the posting schedule will forestall that. I definitely do not wish to close down this blog. I enjoy it far too much and will do all that I can to avoid that.
      Thanks for the link. I knew that the fruit were grown east of the Mississippi but hand’t seen anything about them growing further west. I’m looking forward to next summer. I love them in a salsa on seafood and want to try baking them in a pie. Maybe even some sort of savory quiche. They do pair well with rosemary.
      By the way, I sent the link to my friend, Celi. She’s expressed an interest in growing them on the farmy. If you’re not aware of her fantastic blog, here’s your chance. Enjoy!

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  10. Even though the jam turned out thicker than you wanted it, it’s still a very pretty colour. Those cherries are gorgeous; I don’t think I’ve seen cherries like that in Sydney. I’d love to try a few. Even though my blog isn’t all about my mother’s recipes, she too gets asked all the time, ‘Remember the time you made xyz; do you have the recipe?’

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a very attractive jam, Charlie, and the vendor said that the seeds remind her of tiny jewels. Sandra said that she saw them once and they were quite expensive. I do enjoy them and am looking forward to next Jul, when I can get my hands on more of them.
      I bet my Zia can identify with your Mum. I’ve spent the past 5 years prodding her memory. More than anyone, I’m sure she’ll be relieved to read that I’m slowing things down a bit. Although, it we don’t discuss the upcoming recipes, I’ve no idea what we’ll talk about. 🙂

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    • I cannot wait to get my hands on more of them next July, Ruth. I really do like them. Since my salsa post, I’ve seen them several times on the cooking shows, though mostly used as a garnish. Not in my kitchen. They’re too tasty!
      I hope you and your family enjoyed Thanksgiving, as well. It’s my favorite holiday.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The colour is gorgeous John, I’m glad to see it didn’t dull down or get muddy with the cooking. Is it thick enough to make a fruit paste? I received some fig paste once and it was wonderful sliced thinly with cheese. A thick jam is also delightful in a savoury cookie like a shortbread thumbprint (blue cheese shortbread sounds lovely)?or even a savoury lindzer cookie. I think the baked jam would caramelize even more and turn chewy and thick and delicious!
    I am sorry that you won’t be posting every week but I also realize that it’s a huge relief, it’s difficult to find something worthy of posting. Can’t wait to see the clam recipe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just wrote one of my best ever comments and Poof! It’s gone. Oh, well …
      I do like your idea of a fruit paste, Eva. I bet it is no more difficult to make than a quince paste and would probably taste just as good when served with cheese. I gave much of my jam away but look forward to trying out your suggestions with what little I have left.
      I already feel a bit of relief knowing that I’m no longer bound by a posting schedule. I am not out of recipes and have no intention of closing down this blog. i enjoy it far too much and it has rewarded me in many ways. Our friendship being one of them, to be sure. I’ll be going back to San Marino this spring and hope to bring back some recipes from Dad’s side of the family. First, though, I’ll have to taste them all. Quality control, you know. 😉

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  12. Maybe I should ship you a crate of ground cherries! They rep,ant themselves every year in our garden. This jam looks delicious, one of my favorites. I also like to make more of a sauce without the pectin to use on meats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Gretchen. I’m even considering planting one or two. I do like the flavor of the jam and I, too, thought of using it with meats. I think a package of pectin was too much for the amount of fruit that I used. I plan on getting it right this summer. I also think they would be good in some sort of savory dish. Maybe a quiche? I dunno but I really am enamored with their taste.

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  13. You’ve left me drooling once again. Not only the ground cherry jam, but the fig and black pepper jam and the grilled clams. Mmm. It sounds like a great cheese/sausage/cracker plate in the making with some grilled clams for a meal. I could make a day of that. I will miss your Wednesday posts, but am happy that you’ll still be blogging. You have given us so much deliciousness over the past five years John! Speaking of – I have to go through your book and pick our Christmas Eve dinner this year. 🙂 That will be fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Kristy. This would be a welcomed addition to a cheese platter. Charlie suggested making a paste with them and I think that’s a great idea. The grilled clams are a snap to make and a fantastic dish. I keep returning to the fishmonger hoping he has more clams.
      I’ve said it before but I really do consider it an honor that you choose one of our recipes for you Christmas Eve dinner. Mom would be very happy to know this, just as her sister, Zia, is. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi John, as ground cherries are mostly used for garnish here, they are sold in small quantities for a high price. So this would be a very exclusive jam! I’m curious about the flavor though, so perhaps I’ll make a small batch just to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lately, Stefan, these cherries have appeared on a few cooking shows and each time they were used as a garnish. I was hoping to get some great ideas and they could have just as easily used parsley instead. Still, the combo of pineapple and tomato flavors intrigues me. I really am looking forward to “playing” with them next summer. I think savory is the way to go with them.

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  15. Hi John!
    Wish I’d had this recipe a few months ago when I came across these gooseberries.
    I ended up trying a few straight up, scrunched up my nose at the sourness and then promptly forget about them in my fridge. They weren’t cheap either.

    What??! No more recipe? I guess now is the perfect time to make some Amici originals 🙂
    And how about your hand at more baking? You can post all your trials. It’ll be fun!

    I look forward to your posts John, and am enjoying reading your book! I love all the photos of your family 🙂

    Nazneen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Nazneen!
      So good to hear from you. From what I’ve learned from the vendors, there is more than 1 variety of berry. The largest are more sour than the smallest. Sounds like you got some large ones. You’re right. They’re not cheap, which is why it took me so long to give them a try. I want to experiment with them a bit next summer, using them in savory dishes. I think I’ll get for a 2nd mortgage first.
      I will continue to post recipes, Nazneen, just not as frequently. I’ve recipes scheduled and this should give me plenty of time to try new things and write about them. I don’t know whether I could write about my baking foibles. They’re just so painful to relive. 🙂

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  16. Cape Gooseberries are very rare here but you can get them. The vendors that sell to restaurants have them in season. they are a delightfully unusual flavour that would make a perfect jam with the addition of Rosemary John.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tania. I think they would be great in savory dishes, too, though I’ll have to be careful of the water content. Maybe cook them a little first? Looks like I’m gonna have some fun come July!

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  17. Nice outcome of your gooseberry jam. Nice color… I’ve read each and every comment, where making paste was mentioned. I can imagine that this is a great idea. Quite recently I’ve made some paste (and jelly) out of crap apple, what I happened to find on a nice autumnal walk. The paste came out great. I used different tiny cutters and dipped the little pieces into chocolate to turn them into confection. That makes great presents…
    I love your idea of slowing things down a bit, although I am quite a newcomer to your blog. But there’s so much to discover, what will held me busy for a long time, I think. Happy slow down, John! It gives you lots of time to check and collect new ideas in any direction. Who knows where that leads to? And I just want to encourage you to your Italian lessons! That’s great.
    Nevertheless I’m looking forward to each of your upcoming posts, whenever that will be. And always love to see or meet you regularly on Celi’s, of course….

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    • Thank you for the lovely comment and support, Irmi. Your crab apple paste dipped in chocolate sounds wonderful! I’ve seen these gooseberries dipped in chocolate and used as garnish. I bet the, too, would make a great confection if prepared as your crab apples were.
      I’ve toyed with the idea of slowing the blog down for some time now. Make no mistake. I really do enjoy blogging and cannot imagine ending this one. I’ve let it consume too much of my time, however, and I need to take a step back. Now, as you noted, I’ll have more time to check a few things out — and to brush up on my Italian. My nephew will be joining me on next spring’s trip. He doesn’t speak any Italian at all and is looking for me to be interpreter between he and his cousins. I told him to play it safe and to get a good English-Italian dictionary. 🙂

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      • Thank you, dear John, for your kind reply! Still love this idea of slowing down for a while. Stepping back. Looking at the past in a friendly distance. Letting go some things. And giving room for new ones… So good.
        And yes, you’re right, a good dictionary will be great. I own several, but don’t use them that much anymore. Cause now, with my English or French comments on blogs, I switched completely to my online dictionary. Maybe you have or can find a good one, too? Mine is really great (it even offers pronounciation / sounds for rehearing ever and ever), but would not be of help for you, cause it’s German based… Of course. 🙂 But having one and getting used to it before travelling would be of great benefits for your and your nephew’s journey because it fits into your (i)phone… 🙂 Great stuff today, haven’t had it then in my (younger) travel life… Had to deal with small pocket books. –
        Oh, and I had some good conversations with the help of Google translator (by a Touch Tablet PC): German-Afghan. So great! Even if it’s not high professional, it works!
        Have a good time, John! Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The number of tech tools at out fingertips right now is truly amazing, Irmi. i really do need to look into translation apps. So much has been developed even since I last travelled in 5/2014. I can bumble along but I think my nephew may have a tough time of it. Thanks for mentioning this. I’ll be looking further into it. Have a great week, Irmi!

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          • Same to you, John, having a great week!
            I’m not that equipped yet, have no tablet, no iPhone and will not have. This stuff is much too expensive for me – not only the buying but the maintaining costs too. Just adore the possibilities and high standards. – Had baught a Sony Reader once – it’s long outdated technically. The changes are all so fast…

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