Yes, life can be like a bowl full of cherries, but in this case, there are no pits! What am I talking about? In this case I am talking about an adorable little fruit that I have heard of, but until recently, had never seen.
The Ground Cherry.
On a recent visit to my local farmers market, I ran across a vendor I hadn’t seen there before, and was delighted to find some offbeat selections, as well as handmade pottery. What really caught my eye were several little pint baskets marked “Ground Cherries”. When I inquired about them, the vendor quickly offered me one to try. Tiny little yellow fruits, encased in a papery husk (as seen in this blog post), similar to that of a tomatillo, produce a flavor that to me was nearly a cross between a cherry and a tomato. It was a very unusual but mild flavor that quickly had me wanting more.
Unfortunately, although I kept returning to the market, the vendor did not. See, they aren’t regulars at our market, and I can’t say as I blame them, because there is a much greater venue for them about an hour south of us in Edwardsville. Lucky for me, though, Nathan and Amy (of 2 Acre Farm) had given me their contact info (and blog address – woo hoo!) and I was able to track them down and get several more pints from them so I could make a batch of jam.
I had already shipped my box for the Jam Exchange at the time, so I didn’t get to include a jar of this, although I would have loved to, but Ginny and I had fun making it while I was in Iowa visiting her last weekend.
We husked all the cherries, and then used the recipe that Nathan included with my cherries, although we had to adjust a little for a slightly larger quantity of fruit, hence a slightly longer boiling time.
The end result was a wonderfully tangy jam that I am looking forward to having on biscuits for breakfast this winter. I’ll definitely be looking for these again next year!
Check out 2 Acre Farm’s blog and see all the great stuff they’ve been growing this year!
Ground Cherry Jam