Québec Groundcherry Syrup

2008-08-20

Québec Groundcherries
Québec Groundcherry Syrup
 
Notes: On a trip to Montréal last Friday, Dr. S' and her parents took me to the Jean-Talon Market. What an incredible place, full of in-season fruit and vegetables stalls, interesting shops selling rare spices and olive oils, butchers and seafood vendors and delicious eateries. I saw several farmers selling cerises de terre, also known as Cape gooseberries, physalis or groundcherries. When I bit into one, the kiwi-pineapple flavour and sweetness immediately distinguished this variety from the often-sour, spicy cherries that I've bought in supermarkets in Ontario. A flat cost $10 so I bought one to make jam. I crushed about 1 kg of husked groundcherries, and added about 1 kg of sugar, plus a bit of lemon juice. Sadly, the flavour was lost during cooking, becoming vegetal and unappealling. They also didn't gel on their own; I had thought that these were related to gooseberries, which have a lot of natural pectin, but it's clearly not the case. So my batch of “jam” turned into a batch of syrup instead. There's too much sugar and none of the tropical aromas that are present in the fresh fruit. Next time, I'll try making freezer jam instead.