DAYS TO HARVEST
60 days from transplant
Sow 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Sow in a warm, bright location in moist, but not overly wet, seedling mix. When the first true leaves appear, transplant into individual pots with a fairly rich compost mix. Plant out after danger of frost has passed, when the soil is warm. Cover with row cover until the nights are warm.
Ground Cherries like some addition of compost, but does not need overly rich soil to thrive.
Not cold hardy
These sweet beauties fall from the plant when ripe. They are called ground cherries because the ripe fruits are found on the ground. For the cleanest, most attractive and easiest harvest, mulch or use landscape fabric under the plants. However, the husks will protect the fruit from the soil for a little while if you can’t do this. Store the fruits in their unopened husks for several weeks.
USES & COOKING SUGGESTIONS
Remove the husk before eating.
Use as a dessert topping, compote, jam, husk and dry them like raisins, or simply eat them fresh!
Cossack Pineapple Upside-Down Cake:
In a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron pan:
melt 1 a stick of butter,
stir in 1/2 a cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla
then add: 1 1/2 -2 cups husk-free ground cherries
let this sizzle a little on a very low heat as the sugar melts and the fruits slightly cook.
In a mixing bowl mix:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Mix well, then add:
3 eggs beaten with
1 1/2 cups of milk
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1 tablespoon of vanilla
pour over the ground cherry mixture in the pan, (you can add some chopped pecans if you wish just before you add the batter) then transfer the whole thing into the oven at 375F, bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
allow the pan to cool slightly, then hold a large plate over it and flip the whole thing upside-down!