Ground Cherry Jam
I’d only plant two seeds of ground cherry in the summer of 2021. These seeds yielded one plant and from this plant I received about 5 cups of this wonderful fruit. Since I was able to harvest more vegetables and fruits than I’d expected this year, I only saved about 2 ½ cups and gave the rest to the squirrels. With what I had, I made a couple jars of jam. One I kept and the other I gave to friends. Here’s my recipe.
- Heavy pot, potato masher, measuring cup and spoon, wooden spoon, 4 ounce canning jars
- 2 cups ground cherries removed from husk
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed lemon thyme (optional)
- 1 star anise
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp pectin
- Clean canning jars and let jars and let sit in a soft-boiled water.
- Peel the husk from the ground cherries. Wash the cherries and dry them.
- Place them in a heavy pot, I use a cast iron pot.
- Add sugar and let sugar melt while smashing the cherries when they start to warm. Add crushed lemon thyme leaves.
- Continue this process until most of the cherries are smashed.
- Stir the juice of the fruit and pulp and mixed thoroughly with the melting sugar.
- Add lime and lemon juices, salt, star anise, and grated ginger. Cook for about 10 minutes until bubbling a little bit, while keeping a close eye to make the mixture doesn't burn.
- While the mixture is cooking down, remove canning jars and lids from boiling water and place out to dry completely.
- Add pectin and stir well. Let cook for another 5-7 minutes and the jam should be ready. (I use a natural pectin made form apple skins, but low-sugar store bought is fine)
- Remove star anise when ready.
- Be sure jars are dried thoroughly then add jam to each jar leaving just about a quarter inch of space from the top.
- Seal jars tightly and return to water.
- Let the sealed jars sit in soft-boiled water for at least 20 minutes.
- Remove form boiling water carefully and let the jam come to room temperature. I use this jam very quickly; therefore, it is stored in the refrigerator once it has cooled down.
Ground cherries are a unique flavor, but very delicious. I’ve found that less sugar always brings out the real flavor of this wonderful fruit. Plus, less sugar is healthier too. About 40 calories per tablespoon.