Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Little Tartness, For a Change

Usually, when I get a new cooking magazine, there’s at least one recipe that catches my eye right away. And usually, I don’t stop thinking about it until I make it. This happened with a recent Ricardo magazine. It’s a special issue, all about gardening and even though I have no garden and no space to even thick about gardening, I got the mag anyway, for the recipes.

The recipe I couldn’t stop thinking about was the Ground Cherry and Vanilla Compote. I just love ground cherries and I was so intrigued at what pairing them with vanilla would do that I could almost taste it. So when I saw beautiful ground cherries at the supermarket, I jumped at the chance.

This is such an easy recipe, very simple and so satisfying. You get the sweet tartness of the ground cherries with the scent of the vanilla and the touch of lemon that comes through. And the golden amber color of the compote just makes it even more mouth watering. It is totally worth using one whole vanilla bean.

And since I had some brioche dough leftover from the last Tuesday with Dorie recipe, I baked it off into a loaf and spooned the compote over brioche slices. I couldn’t ask for a better dessert. Which by the way served as my birthday dessert. I mean, after the cutie patootee cupcakes I made for Olivia, the Pecan Honey Sticky Buns I made for Tuesdays with Dorie, and the next TWD recipe, which I haven’t even made yet, procrastinator that I am, I needed to make something a little lighter.

And this was perfect, just sweet and tart enough to change from the rich desserts we’d been having lately. But don’t worry, a rich, dark and sinful dessert is coming up soon, very soon.

Ground Cherry and Vanilla Compote
Adapted from Ricardo Magazine, Special Gardening Issue

* The recipe says to pour the compote into sterilized jars but I just kept mine in the refrigerator.

4 cups ground cherries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a saucepan, mix together the ground cherries, the sugar and the lemon juice. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and with the tip of a knife, remove all of its seeds. Add the seeds and the bean to the pan. If you use vanilla extract, add it only after the compote has finished cooking. Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for about 25 minutes or until the cooking juices are slightly syrupy. Remove the vanilla bean and pour the compote into sterilized jars. Serve with toast, cookies or vanilla cake.

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24 comments:

Ginny said...

Delicious! I've never heard of ground cherries...looks like a kumquat! sounds good though!

Helene said...

Cette recette semble tellement bonne. J'aime bien Ricardo.

Gigi said...

Wow, very interesting. I have never seen ground cherries before.

Manggy said...

Hee! Count me in among those who haven't heard of a ground cherry... I had to Wikipedia it. I will say though, that you make it look very yummy!

LyB said...

Ginny - It's actually from the tomato family, similar to a tomatillo.

Helene - Moi aussi je l'aime bien Ricardo! :)

Gigi - I had never heard of these until about 10 years ago. They're really good.

Mark - Did you find them on Wikipedia? I actually did a search this morning and had to find them in French first to get their proper name, which is Physalis. They're really good, but their taste is difficult to explain. They're similar to a tomatillo.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your compote looks lush, love it! I'd never heard physalis called ground cherries before either, is it a regional thing?

Grace said...

i'm such a dolt. when i saw "ground cherry," i thought that you had some normal ol' red cherries and mashed 'em up. needless to say, the ground cherries of which you speak are new to me, but look and sound lovely! also, i have to say that your pictures are just stunning. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

LyB, what a wonderful idea - I have never tried anything with ground cherries.

Erinn said...

Look at those gorgeous cherries, so beautiful! The little paper skins are just like tomatillos, no?
Mmmm... my daughter would love this.

gkbloodsugar said...

Beautiful.

I've heard of this particular fruit by a few names: Physalis, Cape Gooseberry, even Chinese Lantern. I'd never heard them called Ground Cherries.

Great stuff.

Deborah said...

I made peach jam with vanilla last year, and loved it. So this sounds extra delicious!

nicisme said...

I've seen those fruits over here, but not tried any. Maybe I should, yours look very tempting indeed!

toontz said...

I have seen ground cherries, but have never tasted one. I think I will have to, now. Beautiful photos!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

What beautiful photos! Everything looks great!

Tartelette said...

I have not seen physalis since I left France and it sure ain't in South Carolina that I a going to find them!! Major drool over this side of the screen!

K.D. said...

My Nana used to grow ground cherries and I contiue the tradition today. They are wonderful in a pie or as a jam but the best way for me is to eat them right out of the garden.

Anonymous said...

I made this today and had it on angelfood cake with whipped cream. Very good.

Anonymous said...

I want to try the recipe, but had to print 8 pages just to get the recipe. Could you add an option to print just the recipe? The vanilla sounds good for a first time ground cherry jam maker. My husband and children are out picking the ground cherries right now. His grandmother made him ground cherry pies, so that will have to be first, as it has been requested.

LyB said...

I'm sorry you had to print so many pages to get the recipe. You will notice that most blogs don't have a "print recipe" option. Some do, but I don't have the know-how right now to add this option to my blog. However, what I usually do when I want to print a recipe from a website is select the text I need, copy it (ctrl-c) and then paste it (ctrl-v) into a word processing application such as Microsoft Word or WordPad. Then you can print only that page of text, or save it onto your hard drive for later. Hope this helps and enjoy the compote. :)

sherrieg said...

Yum! Thanks for the ideas! I had a bunch of ground cherries in my CSA basket lately, and am looking for ways to use them. Delicious!

Deborah said...

Going to try this with the crop of Aunt Molly's ground cherries I just picked from the kitchen garden at Henry David Thoreau's birth house in Concord, MA, where I garden as a volunteer. Had to check that vanilla was "kosher" for our pre-1878 date, which it turns out to be! Thanks for publishing this. -- Debbie

Andrew said...

I love ground cherries - physalis or cape gooseberries in the UK, where I come from) but we usually eat them raw with blackberries and such from the garden. But I tried this tonight for the dessert for my wife's birthday and served it warm over home-made caramel/peanut/vanilla ice cream (following rotisseried organic chicken with mashed potatoes, swiss chard and beets - all from our garden, since you ask and served with a 2005 Puligny-Montrachet). It was divine and I have bottled the left-over compote for winter. I am still harvesting the ground cherries and should get another 8 or 10 cups before they stop ripening. Yum

Anonymous said...

Ground cherries have never made it beyond "snacking in the garden" and sharing phase for me. This year I had so many that I was looking for recipes yesterday. Just made it - very tasty. I had to simmer mine for about 90 minutes to get a jam consistency - maybe the kind of ground cherry that I grow are just more watery - Pineapple and Goldie.

Anonymous said...

Yummy!! We received ground cherries in our weekly CSA, and I stumbled across this recipe. It's very good! I threw a sprig rosemary in for a little extra something! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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