Strawberry Groundcherry Jam and Summer’s Last Hurrah

The last of the everbearing strawberries and groundcherries from the market find love as a sweet jam.

It’s been warm here, the kind of warm that makes you want to take long bike rides through the trail system that runs just east of your house, stopping to enjoy the view of the lakes and swamps in the area. Swamps are magical.

The sun has been shining. Blaring, really. It’s like August in October at the moment, but with golden leaves on the trees and pumpkins on the menu for dinner.

Rather than enjoy the beauty, however, I’ve been swimming in work, holed up, sleeping far too little, and most days – well, most days if I shower it’s well after lunchtime and sometimes just before dinner. (Dinner that my husband makes, thankyouverymuch.)

Our warm streak looks as if it is coming to an end by the end of the weekend, though. One last push to help turn some of those green tomatoes that have been hanging on the vine, one last hurrah before the freeze. I’m loving every minute of it, but this weekend I’m bound and determined to actually enjoy it, starting with taking my family on that bike ride I mentioned.

Groundcherries are related to tomatillos. The small, sweet fruit grows on a bush-like plant and are surrounded by a papery husk and look like little lanterns hanging before they’re harvested. I first had them when I was young, forgetting about them and rediscovering them again at the market while in college. They’re great for adding complexity to jams, making their own jelly or adding a bit of sweetness to salsas.

Enjoy your weekend!

2 cups groundcherries, husked and halved
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon butter
3 tablespoons no/low-sugar pectin (read label for different brand amounts)
3/4 cup raw honey (can also use organic cane sugar)

Add groundcherries, strawberries, water and lemon juice to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until fruit starts to break down. Slowly stir in butter until melted and pectin. Increase heat to high and bring to a full boil. use a potato masher to mash the fruit bits up farther.

Stir in the honey or sugar and return the mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Ladle jam into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe down the rims and top with lids. Either cool to room temperature and refrigerate or immediately process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from the water bath to a dry, clean towel and allow to cool. Check for proper seal on all jars. Any that did not seal should be refrigerated.


Makes 3-4 8-ounce jars of jam.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

Comments

  1. This is such a gorgeous jam, Shaina. I know it would taste perfect on a biscuit or right off the spoon!

  2. That looks so delicious. I’ve never heard of ground cherries, very interesting. I need to learn how to can in the worst way!

  3. Homemade jam is the best! Would love this jam on whole wheat toast.

  4. Yum! I’ve only had gooseberries (or ground cherries) raw. I’d love to try them in jam though.

    • Yep! Some varieties are also called cape gooseberries, not to be confused with the other gooseberry. I like them raw, too, Sarah, but I can only eat a few at a time. They add great texture to the jam.

  5. This is the first I’ve heard of groundcherries, but you’ve got me intrigued!

  6. Our weather is exactly the same as yours right now but the leaves on trees are bright yellow with some red on them. It’s so beautiful.

    Your recipe sounds wonderful and recently I spoke to a woman who sells jams for a living she mentioned to me about the little bit of butter you add to the jam. Apparently it keeps the jam from foaming, a little tidbit I didn’t know.

    I’ve also never had a groundcherry and I’m not sure I would even know if I saw one if it stared me in the face. I’ll have to try and hunt some down.

    Lovely photos, thank you for sharing.

  7. I guess I’m not the only one whose has never had ground cherries, lol. Well now I want to know the taste for myself.

  8. I picked up groundcherries from the farmer’s market for the first time last year and just ate them straight. Wish I could grow these so I had enough to make this lovely jam.

    • Watch out what you wish for. My Mother grew these for jam, and one of my first garden tasks was to pull up the excess-they selfseed like crazy.

  9. not to change the subject, but I just started to make the sour dough starter. I’m wondering, how do you store it after you make your first loaf of bread?

    • Hi, Francine! You can keep feeding it to maintain the starter, or you can store it sealed in the fridge. Usually I wait and make a few loaves from the starter and keep feeding it until it’s established (25-20 days) before putting it in the refrigerator.

  10. Now I know what I want for Christmas.

  11. Love this jam and I bet it’s delicious on a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel!

  12. Man those pics are gorgeous. :) You rock girl.

  13. I agree with Amanda, those pictures are gorgeous. That jam also looks to delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  14. omg these pictures are great and this sounds awesome!

  15. I’ve never had groundcherries before but I’d love to try them. Your jam looks wonderful!

  16. Shaina, do you grow your own groundcherries? Might be a fun bush to plant in our yard as I plan our re-landscaping for next year.

  17. I just love this season! It’s getting darker but the nature have so much to offer right now, it’s amazing. Jam is definately something of the season, it looks great :)

  18. It’s been sunny here too! I love Indian Summer and this jam looks like the perfect pairing!

  19. I had never seen this combination before, but looks/sounds delicious!

  20. You make me wish it was the first day of summer! Those pictures are stunning, Shaina.

  21. This sounds extra lovely. Would love some on my toast right now!!

  22. This sounds so lovely… Would love to just dip a spoon into the jar right now!

  23. Who would have thought of combining groundcherries with strawberries? This is brilliant, and your photos are amazing!

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