I discovered ground cherries at the farmers' market last year, so I at least knew what they were when I received a free seed package with some of my other garden seeds. We planted them in our garden, forgot about them as our tomato plants crowded into the ground cherry space and assumed we were out of luck for ground cherries as they must need at least a bit of sunshine and space to grow. So, we were quite surprised to discover ground cherries underneath our tomato plants last weekend!
The apparent hardiness of the plants led me to devise a master plan to plant them along our house next year to harvest crops large enough for jamming. However, I wanted to ensure we actually liked ground cherry jam before committing to my master plan. We picked up about 4 cups of husked ground cherries today at the farmers' market. Let's just say that ground cherries will be planted and jammed next year!
Ground Cherry Jam
4 cups ground cherries, husked and washed
1/4 cup + 4 tsp. lemon juice
8 Tbsp. pectin
3 1/2 generous cups sugar
Combine cherries, lemon juice and pectin. Cook over medium heat until ground cherries are bursting. Mash ground cherries, and then add sugar. Stir to dissolve, and bring to a boil. Boil while stirring one minute. Remove from heat, and pack into hot sterilized jars. Boil in a hot water bath 10 minutes.
Note: My yield was 10 quarter pints ... the cutest little jars!