Ground Cherry Jam Recipe0
Last week I shared with you that we had an abundance of ground cherries. For those of you who missed that post, ground cherries are related to tomatoes and look a lot like tomatillos. They are very sweet and come in several different shades and flavors. This is the first year I’ve planted them and I opted to grow the variety called Aunt Molly’s. They are bright yellow in color and my nieces say that they smell and taste like starbursts. When teenagers equate something natural with candy, you know you’ve got something good going on!
All of that sweetness seems like a natural fit for jam or jelly. Ground cherries are quite seedy. (In fact, so much so that while I enjoy the taste, the texture kind of gives me the willies…) Personally, I like seedy jam (think raspberries) but my family doesn’t. For that reason, I intended to make ground cherry jelly by filtering out the seeds part way through the process. But alas, September is a time of plentiful harvest for me and I have so much food processing to do that I just didn’t have the patience for sloooooowwwwllly filtering out all those teeny, tiny seeds. The good news is that once my jam settled, the seeds all floated to the top. I should be able to skim that section off and enjoy relatively seed-free jelly through the majority of the jar. (Don’t worry; that seedy-jam will still find its way into my belly somehow.)
Like most jams, this one was easy to make. Here’s how…
Ground Cherry Jam
Yield: 5+ Pints
- 3 cups ripe ground cherries
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (I substituted homemade citrus extract)
- ¼ tsp butter
- 1 package (1.75 oz) powdered pectin
- 5 cups sugar
- Prepare hot water bath canner. It should be ready (rolling boil) very near the time the jam is ready to be ladled into jars. Sterilize six pint-sized jars. I sterilize mine in the oven by washing them first in hot, soapy water, then placing them in the oven at 250* for 20 minutes.
- Remove ground cherries from their husks. Rinse them and add to a food processor. Puree cherries.
- Measure sugar and set aside. Combine pureed cherries, lemon juice and zest (extract). Stir in pectin and butter. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Immediately add all of the sugar. Bring back to full rolling boil and boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Ladle jam into sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims clean and screw on the lids. Process pints for 15 minutes (quarts for 20) in water bath canner (add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level).