8.19.2008

Ground cherry pie

I can't say I was overly eager to take my first bite of ground cherry pie. Baked this weekend, it still sat carefully wrapped and untouched when I stumbled downstairs for breakfast this morning. The watermelon sorbet had competed for the dessert spot, to be sure.

But at the heart of my neglect was a lingering uncertainty that the tomato-like fruits should be made into pies.

My imagination conjured up the taste of a marinara with whole-wheat crust, more appealing with a dinner fork than a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But with baguettes devoured and watermelon dwindling, my eye settled on it this morning as the perfect answer to breakfast. Feeling courageous, I carefully cut through the lattice and scooped a piece into my bowl.

I noticed immediately the transformation. The once tomatillo-like cherries, after simmering in a bubbling sea of sugar and their own saccharine juices, now appeared more like round bits of candy orange. Soaked in syrup and dripping with shrunken seeds, the tiny mandarin-like pieces looked every bit the part of their cast as pie filling.

I pulled a first bite from my fork, and dug in. A cacophony of pineapple and tomato, cherry and orange erupted inside my mouth, lingering sweet on the tongue and quick to hit the belly. Eager to begin again, I took another bite and then another, devouring the piece in delighted disbelief.

The surprise success made me wish I'd eaten it hot, fresh from the oven with a dab of vanilla ice cream or perhaps a dollop of vanilla whipped cream. It should go within hours: a bowl of shucked cherries, a heap of sugar, a quickly rolled crust and the heat of an oven transforming fruit into delight. Quickly, quickly, the ice cream should melt, just as the sun goes down and a new day begins. Then in the end, it will still be around for a good cold breakfast.

GROUND CHERRY PIE

Makes one pie with lattice top, plus some extra crust

Mix 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons chilled butter; mix well with a pastry cutter. Add 4-5 tablespoons ice cold water until the dough forms a ball. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and roll out dough for crust bottom. Cut off edges and set aside for lattice top.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 and 1/2 cups husked ground cherries with 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and 2 and 1/2 tablespoons flour. Mix well and spoon into crust. Top with woven lattice. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then turn oven to 300 and continue baking for 30 minutes, or until filling sets without burning crust.

37 comments :

Anonymous said...

I'm one of your devoted Maine readers. Do you think I can get ground cherries in the Midcoast area? I'll ask some of the farmers at my local market -- just wondered if you might have any ideas too. I've never run across them. Thanks for any help you can offer!
~ Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

i, also, am now curious about ground cherries after reading your tempting description! AND, i forwarded your piece to a friend is coming to visit in mid-september and who eats wild food whenever he can. he has put me on the case of finding them to prepare a pie! i don't believe i have ever seen them, either growing wild or available to purchase anywhere. i live in wellfleet, but work on saturdays, so the farmer's markets are not convenient for me....however, if that is where these are, i may ask someone to find them for me....maybe phoenix produce has them? thank you for your time ~ irene

Elspeth said...

Hi Elizabeth: I get the impression from ground cherries here that the plants are very old-fashioned. I think the farmers' market is definitely your best bet; if they don't have any ideas, ask your friends! From what I gather, these are easy backyard plants...

Irene: I am happy to pick some up for you at the market! I go every Saturday, so let me know if you'd like me to grab you a bag and you can come to my house and pick them up. I haven't seen them at Phoenix, but I wouldn't be surprised if they of Hatch's start stocking them in the next few weeks as the season gets into swing. The only other listings I've found are on Semap here: http://www.farmfresh.org/food/food.php?food=9&show=40&sortby=closeness&startrow=1&zip=02667I but those are all pretty far away, and they don't include the woman, Clare Berg of Bon Terra Nursery, who I buy them from at the market. her number is 237.4297 and i'm sure she'd be happy to sell you some as well.

mudlarke said...

elspeth,
how nice of you to offer to pick me up some ground cherries! if you get this message in time for your shopping trip, please pick up at least enough for a pie, and more would be fine. how best to make contact? sat and sun, 10-4, i can be reached at rock spray nursery, 508.349.5522. otherwise, blog me back!
cheers! irene

Elspeth said...

Hi Irene:

Unfortunately I did not get your note in time for this week. I will mark it on my calendar, however, to get you enough for a pie next week, and will drop them off on my way to work on either Saturday or Sunday (I work at Blackfish, so I'll be heading by anyways). Sorry about this week!

Best,
Elspeth

dianneml said...

For future reference and planting, Clare Bergh of Bon Terra Nursery sells ground cherry plants at the start of the season at the Orleans and Mid-Cape Farmers Markets. I have purchased one plant from her each season and pretty much ignored it to tend to more finicky plants. Nevertheless, the output is quite prodigious. Usually I just eat out of hand, but the other night I made a salsa, which was quite delicious. I look forward to trying your pie recipe, Elspeth.
Cheers,

Unknown said...

My mother's favorite pie was ground cherries. She grew up in south central Wisconsin. I have come to favor it to. Be cautious about ground cherries. If you plant them in your garden they will soon take over the whole garden. If you want to grow your own, they are easy to grow but give them their own space.

Elspeth said...

Stephen:

I haven't planted any yet, but thank you for the good advice. A friend of mine planted them in an old boat in order to keep them contained—and they seem to be crawling out, even from there!

All the best,
Elspeth

Anonymous said...

This post is way after the fact, but I just made this pie and it was delicious. I only had two cups of ground cherries so I chopped up a pear and added it. The flavors are very unique, almost orangy. I'm in south-eastern wisconsin and ground cherries are found all around at local farmers markets. Thanks!
Annie

GMA/Mama T said...

I just made our first ground cherry pie with a very similar recipe to yours~"Amazing" was the response of our nearly ten year old granddaughter. Hubby is still out on the vote; but when I mentioned how easy they grow, how NO critter seems to like them and how frugal they can be towards our food bill, he said "yeah, we need to keep this recipe!" :)

Blessings from down south in west Central Florida~
Grandma T

Anonymous said...

High Mowing Seeds sells ground cherry seeds.

Unknown said...

I stumbled across these plants at our local nursery this spring. I thought something new would be interesting to grow. These plants are the easiest plant to grow...they like sun and will take over your garden! Over the past week I have been collecting ripened fruits and am eager to try your recipe once I have enough! Anyone looking for something super easy to grow, it is definately one that will bear a huge amount of fruit!

Unknown said...

I stumbled across these plants at our local nursery this spring. I thought something new would be interesting to grow. These plants are the easiest plant to grow...they like sun and will take over your garden! Over the past week I have been collecting ripened fruits and am eager to try your recipe once I have enough! Anyone looking for something super easy to grow, it is definately one that will bear a huge amount of fruit!

Unknown said...

I stumbled across these plants at our local nursery this spring. I thought something new would be interesting to grow. These plants are the easiest plant to grow...they like sun and will take over your garden! Over the past week I have been collecting ripened fruits and am eager to try your recipe once I have enough! Anyone looking for something super easy to grow, it is definately one that will bear a huge amount of fruit!

Unknown said...

I bought some ground cherry seeds from Territorial Seed Co. about 5 years ago. Since then I had lots of volunteer plants come up every year in my garden, and I leave a few to grow to maturity. With the long growing season in SC it is not necessary to start them indoors. Prolific producers, not bothered by insects, and If one or 2 plants should die of neglect, there's still enough fruit left for a family of 2. Wish everything else would be that simple to grow!

Jeff and April Fiet said...

Thanks so much for this post and recipe. I've been wanting to grow ground cherries for a couple of years...really ever since I learned about this. This year, I'm actually getting some ripe berries. I've got 2 cups so far, so pie is on the horizon. This recipe looks great. I'm eager to give it a try! -- April

Nadine said...

Costco sells ground cherries in canada, so maybe out your way also. I found seeds and planted some this year.

Collect the seeds from store bought ones and give them a go next year.

Surbhi Sharma said...

For extra help setting up your Roku gadget, visit the Setup and Troubleshooting area of the Roku activation.
roku.com/link Complete the on-screen guidelines to associate your Roku gadget to the web.

Surbhi Sharma said...


Much obliged to you for picking Webroot web security. www.webroot.com/safe You're nearly secured! Essentially complete the accompanying strides beneath to finish your introduce.

Surbhi Sharma said...


webroot is a light weighted software,install extreme digital security at webroot safe or at webroot safe introduce ,
webroot.com/safe click here to download webroot safe.

Surbhi Sharma said...

webroot cyber security is a ultimate internet security suite for complete protection against today's diverse range of threat on windows. key features are 100% secure secure shopping, 1 click virus scanning, malicious website filtering, unblock antivirus.if you want to install it then
webroot safe visit our site:

Surbhi Sharma said...


Introduce mcafee antivirus in your PC with high class experts and best tech group. Simply ring us and we are prepared to help you till the last moment of establishment - www.mcafee.com/activate visit here.

Surbhi Sharma said...


McAfee security programming offers a standout amongst the best malware insurance among the various security suites in the worldwide market. mcafee.com/activate As per the most recent reports, there has been noteworthy development in digital assaults in the course of recent years.

Surbhi Sharma said...

A progressing Microsoft statement gives some comprehension of how the association designs the landing of new Office 365 ProPlus features. office.com/setup Microsoft uses the equivalent "channels" language for MS Office 365 ProPlus incorporates revives as it does with Windows 10 feature invigorates.

Surbhi Sharma said...


Move up to Office 365 and get the most recent Office applications, introduces on different PCs and sMacs and device, 1 TB OneDrive distributed storage per client, www.office.com/setup technical support, and different administrations with your membership.

Surbhi Sharma said...

webroot is a light weighted software,install extreme digital security at webroot safe or at webroot safe introduce ,www.webroot.com/safe
click here to download webroot safe.

Surbhi Sharma said...


office setup is the best programming which is broadly utilized in globe .It is an amazing administration that causes you release your best thoughts, complete things, and remain associated on the go.for more subtleties visit:
office.com/myaccount today.

Surbhi Sharma said...

To activate office setup you need to visit  www.office.com/myaccount where you can find what all you can do on office setup.

Surbhi Sharma said...

After you buy Norton Antivirus visit
norton.com/setup sign in to norton account then enter norton product for Norton Setup or Install Norton Antivirus

Surbhi Sharma said...


MS Office install has required the removal of the previously installed version of your Office product on the device or system. Office 365 and other subscription offers the various features, which you do not get when you do not purchase the Office product. The office can be used free, as MS provides the trial versions of every tool. VISIT HERE: office.com/setup TODAY.

Surbhi Sharma said...


Try office.com/setup which is very easy to install, download and redeem. Use of it is also simple and the user can learn the use of it easily. www.office.com/setup Online Support&help option is also available in all application which provides an instant guideline.

Surbhi Sharma said...


With mcafee.com/activate you can prevent devices and network against threats like malware, worms, spyware and runs in the background and does not cause any problem nor slows down the computer.

Surbhi Sharma said...


McAfee helps organizations orchestrate a truly integrated cyber environment that simultaneously protects, identifies and enhances security threats. For consumers,
www.mcafee.com/activate McAfee protects your device at home and abroad from viruses, malware and other threats.

Surbhi Sharma said...


ppcoffice it the bundle of office apparatuses to make your working smooth and effective.visit: www.office.com/setup to downloaded in your PC with the quick help.

Surbhi Sharma said...



Get instant help for downloading webroot antivirus to protect your device appoint www.webroot.com/safe where you can find all your problems solved.

Surbhi Sharma said...

Download norton antivirus to make your computer virus free with the best support and tech team. www.norton.com/setup Feel free to contact us

Surbhi Sharma said...


To enact Hulu Plus on your gadget, either utilize the on-screen console to enter your Hulu sign in data or go to and enter the gadget initiation code. www.hulu.com/activate Both of these strategies will enable you to utilize Hulu on any Hulu-upheld gadget.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
All text, photographs, and other original material copyright 2008-2010 by Elspeth Hay unless otherwise noted.