Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday is PIE DAY!

Every weekend spent at the cabin with my family is full of lots of laughter and lots of food (and usually a project or two).  On this last weekend, my father had picked up some ground cherries at the farmers market.  A lot of you may not be familiar with ground cherries, and their taste is rather difficult to describe-as we peeled and tasted there was a lot of .....mmmm...cranberry and persimmon? gooseberry and cranberry?, but we never quite nailed it down.  It's enough to say that they taste yummy, and have been largely forgotten in recent years.  They are a small yellow-orange fruit about the size of a cranberry, and are hidden in a papery husk.  I have also heard them referred to as husk tomatoes, and they do grow on a plant similar to a tomato plant.  They are a self-seeding annual, and can often be found in the wild growing in fields or roadsides, but is better to grow them from seed if you want to be assured of a larger crop.

Once we peeled them all, there was some debate as to what to make with our ground cherries, but it didn't take us long to settle on a pie.  The cabin is fairly well stocked, but we had to improvise a bit and make things up as we went along.  I made a very simple short butter crust and pressed it into a pie plate (the rolling pin was located after the pie was in the oven).  We then mixed the ground cherries with sugar, flour, cinnamon and a little butter.  The resulting pie was pretty, but a little on the soupy set up enough to cut, though, and despite being an improvisation, was quite tasty.  My father was particularly excited, saying that he had been waiting 76 years to eat a ground cherry pie.  I was happy to have fulfilled that long-burning desire.

To make a similar, but slightly less soupy, pie, give this recipe a try.

Ground Cherry Pie

single 9" pie crust
4 c ground cherries
2 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T butter
2 T lemon juice
2 1/2 t tapioca

-mix ground cherries with sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and tapioca
-spoon into prepared pie crust
-top with dots of the butter
-bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes


  1. Your dad cracks me up. Tell him hi. (And your mom too, for that matter!) Pie sounds yummy. I can't wait for the Thanksgiving/Christmas season so I can eat lots of cranberries! (since I don't think I've ever seen ground berries in the store!)

  2. Why do you have to wait for the holiday season for cranberries, my dear? Bust them out now! Will be adding some more cranberry pie recipes soon......

  3. I eat them in my steel-cut oatmeal every morning! I just don't bake with them all year! :)