As with any unique fruit, ground cherry recipes can be hard to find. Whether you pick up a pint of these tiny husk cherries at the farmers’ market or grow your own, here’s a bit of inspiration on how to use these tasty annual fruits.
I began growing ground cherries nearly a decade ago, and at this point, our garden wouldn’t be complete without them. Hidden amongst row upon row of savory vegetables, ground cherries are a sweet treat and a much-deserved break while out weeding.
The problem is, once they really start to bear fruit in the early fall, there’s no stopping them. Single ground cherry plants can grow 3-4 feet tall and produce quarts of fruit.
Eventually, the groundcherry harvests start to overwhelm my garden snacking and buckets of them come into the house at once. Homemade ground cherry jam is one of my favorites, and the fruits make a wonderful homemade wine or mead (honey wine).
Still, the harvests keep coming, and it’s time to get creative. I’ve scoured the internet and here are the best ground cherry recipes I could find.
Ground Cherry Dessert Recipes
The fruits are naturally sweet, with bright acidity and a flavor that’s a cross between strawberries and pineapple. That natural sweetness is a great compliment to dessert, the tropical acidity plays well against heavy buttery cakes and pies.
- Chocolate Covered Ground Cherries ~ I really love how the husks are carefully peeled back, but left attached to create the illusion of wings on this unique ground cherry dessert.
- Ground Cherry Pie ~ With just a bit of nutmeg and lemon zest, the ground cherry flavor will really shine through in this pie.
- Plum and Husk Cherry Tart ~ Plums in our home orchard begin to ripen at the same time as husk cherries, and I’m excited to try this husk cherry recipe.
- Ground Cherry Coffee Cake ~ With all the trappings of a traditional coffee cake, including a dense buttery cake and a sugary, nutty topping, this coffee cake becomes special with the addition of ground cherries.
- Ground Cherry and Basil Cheesecake ~ I like the idea of combining ground cherries with basil in a cheesecake, but this recipe is more of a rant than a recipe. It might be easier to simply put ground cherry compote on top of a herbally flavored cheesecake.
- Ground Cherry Compote ~ One of the easiest ways to use up ground cherries without a lot of effort. Just put them in the pot and cook them into a sauce.
Ground Cherry Preserves
Every year we make a big batch of husk cherry jam. I like to add a good bit of lemon juice to mine, which really brings out the flavor of these tiny fruits.
- Ground Cherry Preserves ~ My go-to recipe every year, this ground cherry preserves recipe brings out the flavor of the fruit without masking it behind too much sugar.
- Ground Cherry Lemon Jelly ~ The name says it all, ground cherries and lemon in a simple jelly.
- Honey Sweetened Ground Cherry Jam ~ How have I never made this jam with honey? It’s very similar to my own recipe using Pomona’s pectin but sweetened with honey instead.
Savory Ground Cherry Recipes
They’re a bit fruity, but that’s not at all bad in savory recipes.
- Husk Cherry Goat Cheese Salad ~ It doesn’t get much simpler than this. Just toss them onto a salad like you would a cherry tomato, and then get an intense surprise of sweet and floral juiciness.
- Ground Cherry Salsa ~ Add a little spice and this fruity salsa is a unique topping for your summer table.
- Provincial Galette with Ground Cherries ~ A savory galette that incorporates husk cherries for dinner.
Ground Cherry Drink Recipes
With a sweet/tart flavor, husk cherries are the perfect addition to drinks and cocktails.
- Spiced Ground Cherry Infused Vodka ~ The warmth of ginger and nutmeg balance out the brightness of husk cherries in this simple infused vodka.
- Ground Cherry Daiquiri ~ Simply made with a bit of rum, lime juice, and simple syrup.
- Husk Cherry Old Fashioned ~ Not that I’m complaining, but this recipe is much more Bourbon than anything else. The addition of 2 husk cherries gives it a bit of a unique flavor. I love me some Bourbon, so bring it on!
- Husk Cherry Margarita ~ I ran across this recipe and that’s what originally got me thinking of husk cherry drinks. Simple, but spot on.
Was intrigued by this post. Ground cherries have been on my list for two years now, but I have yet to grow them! I’m going to make the effort next year. Thanks for sharing (and inspiring!)
Are ground cherries the same has Chinese Latterns? Looking at the pictures they look like them.
They’re related, but not the same plant. I do not believe Chinese lanterns are edible, but I don’t know that much about that species.
I live in NE Washington. Will these grow here and where can I buy plants.
Yes, they’ll definitely grow there. Plant’s aren’t usually shipped, it’s like shipping tomato plants. I’d look for them at local garden centers or nurseries, or start your own from seed.
Good day ladies,
What you call ground cherries are South African Cape Gooseberries.They are very edible and make the most fantastic jam!
Jocelyn Jocelyn Lapo
I live in Northern Michigan and have only had to plant ground cherries one time. The seeds live over the winter and new plants come up every spring. After you learn to recognize them, they are very easy to move to the right place in your garden. They have even come up in driveway cracks.
I will have to try some of these recipes since I have so many ground cherries!
Hi! our husk cherry harvest was great and I’m sitting here with 2 quarts of husk cherries off of one bush. They were a bit dirty so I husked them immediately and was left with a mixed bag of yellow and greenies. I thought of the currant jam I made earlier this summer and headed directly to your site. Of course you would have ideas for this fruit! I have a couple of question. First, people were talking about holding them over the winter (in husks) and using in the Spring. Is this true? if green do they ripen more? 2. If I am using not quite ripe cherries I assume I can use less lemon juice given their sour taste. Correct? Thank you!!!
I don’t know about them lasting until spring but they will last for several months if left in the husk. Yes they will continue to ripen off the vine but the flavor might not be as good. You can use less lemon juice as long as the lemon juice is not needed for the acidity in a canning recipe but I would recommend just waiting until they ripen for the best flavor.
I have been growing ground cherries for 3 years and really enjoy them! I am surprised you did not mention drying them as a preservation method. When dried they taste like tart raisins. We add them to granola as well as zucchini and other cakes.
We just dried a big batch of them this past year and they’re amazing! My daughter ate them all already and is missing them. I really need to update this article and add that. Thanks for the reminder!