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Sep 14, 2008 09:40 PM

Ground Cherry Pie is here! [moved from Pennsylvania]

Got my slice today at the R and S Keystone Diner in Telford! There is no telling for sure if they will have it tomorrow as they sell out fast. But for now my life is complete. I wait all year for this!

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  1. Wow, we have a glut of ground cherries and no idea what to do with them (since my husband and two sons have decided they don't really like them). Any recipes handy for ground cherry pie or jam?


    11 Replies
    1. re: kiwijen

      Lucky you! They were talking at the diner yesterday and a woman remembered having to husk them as a child. At the R and S Keystone they season the pie as if the ground cherries were apples, so it tastes a lot like apple pie with a crumb topping. The ground cherries were not overcooked and very juicy, with a slight resistance when I bit into them, not unlike perfectly ripe grapes. If no more knowlegeable chowhounds weigh in soon maybe the mods could also put the post up under home cooking also?

      1. re: givemecarbs

        Thanks! I think jam and pie are likely to take shape in my house this week!They were so easy to grow that I can't imagine anyone with a patch of dirt couldn't do it. I got seeds at, a local Amish business. They were sweeter than I expected, since I used to have much more sour cape gooseberries as a child in New Zealand.

        1. re: kiwijen

          Awesome! Let us know how the pie and jam turn out!

          1. re: givemecarbs

            OK, I've made two pies now (will post pictures soon) and both were fabulous. I made a butter crust (so how bad could it be?) and pre-baked it halfway. Then I added a few cups (as much as the pie crust could hold) of ground cherries (some were really ripe, others greenish-yellow), about half cup of dark brown sugar, a few tablespoons of flour, and a good shot of vanilla extract (Penzeys single strength). The flavors melded nicely with the butter in the crust and the combo was great, although it was a little too liquidy. Mmmmm. My husband has just conceded that maybe we _will_ grown them again next year (he wasn't much of a fan for the raw fruit).

            1. re: kiwijen

              Wow! Now I am sooo hungry! I bet the house smelled great while they were baking too!

              1. re: kiwijen

                OK, here are the photos! Mmmm.... makes me glad we've got a bag full of late season ground cherries in the freezer. Just need to remember that in December...

                1. re: kiwijen

                  Oh my! Drool. They look really really yummy! /Raids Refrigerator.

          2. re: givemecarbs

            so i guess you really like that R and S keystone rest. i live near there and love ground cherry pie...thinking about going there just wondering if the rest of their food is good? if you have some insight id apreciate it Thanks!

            1. re: sweetchilli

              Not sure the pie is in yet but thanks for posting, it will be rough but I'll have to do some "research", he he! The ground cherry pie is not cheap but well worth it. My big secret is when I see it on the menu I ask the waitress to put a slice aside for me so I don't miss out.
              On monday, tuesday and wednesday they have specials. They close at eight so I try not to get there later than seven thirty if I can. My friend and I usually get the broiled salmon. On fridays they offer macaroni and cheese and stewed tomatoes. This time of year the fried eggplant as a side is extremely popular.
              I can't recommend the meatloaf, they do have a large senior citizen following and that might explain it's blandness. They offer a senior citizen's menu and a variety of sugar free desserts. I love their regular bread pudding and pumpkin bread pudding. I could go on and on.
              R and S is the only place I will wait in line for. They keep the line moving and since they get so many large groups of families and friends my dining companion and I get in quickly.
              When I can make it, I love going there for breakfast. If you go very early (six am) the place is quiet and cozy, with lots of regulars at the counter and in booths. But if you go at ten am, oh my! Big tables of happy old folks singing happy birthday to someone, and if you are very lucky you will get a visit from the candy man. The vibes are awesome!
              As you can see, I could go on and on. Not sure what kind of food you fancy, but ask and I'll do my best to tell you true, sweetchilli!

              1. re: sweetchilli

                I see this thread got moved to home cooking sweetchilli so I don't know if you will read this or not. But did you ever get to the R and S Keystone? Hope you saw my comments before the thread got moved. I'll probably be heading there tonight. This post was originally on the Philadelphia board but got moved to PA after the split. I gotta get me my ground cherry pie!!!!

            2. re: kiwijen

              I make a simple sauce with my ground cherries by cutting them in half and stewing them. They are great over vanilla ice cream.

              Ground Cherry Ice Cream Sauce

              1 cup ground cherries cut in half (they must be orange in colour)
              1/4 cup water
              sugar to taste (maybe 2 tbsp)
              sprinkle of cinnamon

              Put all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool and serve warm or cold over ice cream.

            3. Managed to snag two slices today! Got them to go because I was too full from their creamy mac and cheese the R and S always serves on Fridays but one of those slices of ground cherry pie is calling my name now!

              1. Excuse me, what are ground cherries?

                I looked at the posted picture, don't recognize them, and haven't seen them at farmers' markets. What do they taste like?

                4 Replies
                1. re: naneharvey

                  I had never heard of them before I ordered a slice of ground cherry pie at the R and S Keystone naneharvey, about five years ago. I've never just eaten a ground cherry, although I did see them for sale still in their husks once at Clemens produce dept. At the R and S they are baked and seasoned like apple pie but have the appearance of grapes once they are de-husked. They are succulent and slightly resistant to the teeth when I bite into the pie that is topped with a crumb topping. I much prefer ground cherry pie to apple pie and I really like apple pie.

                  1. re: naneharvey

                    I bought ground cherries on a whim at the Emmaus farmer's market last weekend. They are small fruits, about the size of a plump blueberry, and are wrapped in a papery husk like a tomatillo. It's hard to describe the taste, which is fruity but not too sweet. The raw cherries definitely brought out strong feelings both ways in different people. My wife made a compote from it that was really good (sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, ground cherries). We ate it on french toast.

                    1. re: naneharvey

                      Ground cherries are also known as physalis (do a google search or go to and are similar to cape gooseberries - a small husk tomato-like fruit that tastes similar to pineapple or strawberry. My husband and son aren't fans unless they're in pie form, but alas, that's not likely to happen because my younger son loves to eat them raw.

                      We grew them last year and this year we had uncountable volunteer plants in our garden (read "weeds") - we pulled most but let just a few remain and they're prolific.

                      1. re: naneharvey

                        Ground cherries taste like pineapple. If you have a garden they are really easy to grow.
                        We start ours in pots in the house and transplant in the spring. I have seen the plants for sale at our local farmers market too.

                      2. I cannot abide the smell of groundcherries. They are a popular cocktail garnish in Germany and Austria and the odor is just a complete turnoff.

                        To me, (nasty alert), they (or their papery husks) smell like an infection or something left unwashed. The flavor is fine, kind of like a mild kumquat or plum.

                        1. I have tons of groundcherries- they took over part of my vegetable garden! If anyone is using their homegrown groundcherries, do you use the windfall groundcherries?

                          As soon as they're ripe, they seem to fall off the bush. I haven't been eating the groundcherries that have fallen to the ground, but I would think if they're husked and washed, then cooked, windfall groundcherries shouldn't be an issue?

                          Also, does it matter if some of the groundcherries in the pie are a little green/unripe? I would guess it might just make the pie more tart?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: phoenikia

                            I was visiting family members who have ground cherries. We were mainly eating the ones that had fallen (as long as they seemed ok) simply because we knew they were ripe.

                            They were so wonderful. It had been a long time since I had some.