Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ground cherry, pluot and lavender jam

This is more a tale of rising from defeat than useful information on jam making. Go elsewhere for that! I actually don't know much about jam making at all. But how hard could it be? It's just cooked fruit, preserved, right?

Our story begins when I found these ground cherries at the Coop. Also known as cape gooseberries and husk cherries, they are related to neither gooseberries nor cherries. They're related to tomatillos. They don't have the same tart flavor, though. They have a delicate, almost pear-like flavor.

After husking the berries I put them in a heavy-bottomed pot with a few tablespoons of water and a teabag full of lavender. Then I thought, hey, apples have natural pectin! I added the peel of an apple as well. I covered and let these cook for about 15 minutes or so. Then I mushed them with a wooden spoon, added a pinch of salt to enhance flavor, and let the fruit thicken a little. Then I tasted it. Bleh! Too much salt. And now I see why so much sugar gets added to jam. Also, the stuff filled only half a jar.

So I started again, this time with some chopped pluots and a LOT of sugar. When the pluots were cooked and mushed I added in the ground cherries, stirred it all together, and tasted. Lovely!

Lesson of the day: keep going -- it might get better.


Luisa Perkins said...

We've been growing ground cherries for a few years. I can't wait until my rhubarb matures, because I think that would be a nice pairing as well. Yummy pluots!

Lindsey said...

I'll have to keep my eye out for ground cherries. That's something I've never tried before. And I like the idea of rhubarb and ground cherries, Luisa.