What the heck is that? Not exactly the words you want to hear when serving dessert and yet somehow I expected it. We bought some ground cherries (a new fruit for me) at the Winchester MA Farmers Market and I decided to make a desset that featured their unusual flavor, pretty color, and pearl-like appearance. I treated them like a very sweet tomato and tasted one with a bit of blue cheese and it was a winning combination. I had just created a new cornmeal tart crust recipe which was robust enough to carry the strong flavors. In case you want to surprise your guests and your local farmers market has ground cherries available, I have included the recipe below.
Ground Cherry Blue Cheese Tart
1 ½ cups Ground Cherries (about 2 pint boxes)
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
¼ cup crumbled Blue Cheese
¼ tsp Nutmeg
1 cup All Purpose Flour
¼ cup Yellow Corn Meal
½ cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
2 Tbs Sour Cream
Equipment Needed: 10” tart pan with removable bottom
- Remove the paper-like covering from the ground cherries (also called Cape Gooseberries).
- Rinse and place in a bowl with sugar nutmeg and blue cheese.
- Pierce many of the berries gently with a fork; you do not have to pierce all of them.
- Put aside while you make the tart crust
- Mix the flour and corn meal in a medium size bowl
- Cut the butter into the flour and corn meal mixture until it resembles large breadcrumbs
- Add the sour cream and mix until you can form the dough into a ball
- Pat the dough into a 10” tart pan with removable bottom
- Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork several times gently
- Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes until set but not brown
- Allow the crust to cool slightly
- Add the filling to the cooled crust and return to the oven
- Bake 20-25 minutes until the filling starts to bubble and the crust is lightly browned.