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June 26, 2006 2:20 PM   Subscribe

What dishes can I make with cape gooseberries (physalis)?

In a Heston Blumenthal inspired moment at the supermarket this evening, I bought a load of cape gooseberries because they looked exciting and tasty. But I'm not Heston Blumenthal and I have no idea what to do with them now I've got them home.

Googling has only come up with 'dipped in chocolate' (which I'm not adverse to) or preserves / jam (which I don't have enough for).

What can I do with them? I'm a decent cook, so it can be complex or simple. Or should I just eat them as is?
posted by bella.bellona to Food & Drink (5 answers total)
I once had a ground cherry pie (ground cherries are another name for gooseberries). I think it was just the classic fruit with brown sugar, lemon juice, and spices type of recipe, but very good all the same.
posted by j-dawg at 2:31 PM on June 26, 2006

Warm Fruit Stew

Recipe courtesy Jeremiah Tower, Jeremiah Tower Cooks, Stewart Tabori and Chang, 2002
Show: Sara's Secrets
Episode: California Cookin'

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

One of my favorite modernizations of a timeless classic dish (and one you can cook in ten minutes) is this inevitable crowd pleaser of fruit warmed slightly in sugar syrup and served with ice cream. It is a dish for all seasons, using whatever ripe fruit is available, such as mangoes, papayas, figs, peaches, plums, nectarines, all kinds of berries including ripe green and pink gooseberries, cherries, and so on. But it does seem to reach its apotheosis with summer berries. If you include raspberries, throw them in for only the last minute of cooking. For other fruit compotes, use white "mango" and "honeydew" nectarines, or three different kinds of yellow and white peaches. In 1983, at Phelps Vineyards, we poached fresh apricots in sweet Riesling from the vineyard, and served them to great effect with a hazelnut sabayon.

3 cups mixed, thinly sliced tropical fruit, like mango, papaya, passion fruit, or pineapple
1/4 cup Light Syrup, recipe follows
1 tablespoon sweet butter, cut into cubes or softened
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 pint raspberry sorbet

Put the fruit in a frying pan and add the syrup. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, shaking the pan gently to coat the fruit with syrup. Add the butter, a pinch of salt, and the lemon juice, and continue to cook, swirling the fruit and butter around in the pan, another minute, or until the butter has melted.

Spoon the fruit compote onto 4 plates and place scoops of raspberry sorbet in the center of each serving.

Variation: To make an uncooked compote of tropical fruits, peel and cup up a ripe mango and a ripe papaya. Put in a bowl and add 1 cup of warm medium sugar syrup and the juices/pulp of 2 ripe passion fruits. Mix in a pinch of salt and chill for 1 hour. Serve with coconut ice cream, or plain in a hollowed-out meringue. For a warm compote put all the fruit in the syrup as above and cook in the same way as the berry compote, then serve on polenta pound cake.

Light Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

Put the sugar and water in a pan. Bring the water to a boil, stirring constantly, until all the sugar is dissolved. Simmer 5 minutes, then let the syrup cool. Use as needed.
posted by seymour.skinner at 3:06 PM on June 26, 2006

Cape gooseberries are, I think, South American. They're not normal gooseberries. Cape gooseberries are orange fruit surrounded by papery leaves like chinese lanterns, kind of like giant rosehips but orange and with fancy packaging.

Looks like I'll be dipping them in chocolate. Could be worse! Thanks anyway - two great recipe ideas for future use!
posted by bella.bellona at 5:22 PM on June 26, 2006

When I was a little boy my dad once tried making jam from them. It turned out that they had enormous amounts of natural pectin in, and the resulting preserve set rock-solid. So I spent the next few months chipping candied cape gooseberries out with a spoon whenever I thought noone was looking.

I suspect you could make a wonderful upside-down cake with those babies too.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:34 PM on June 26, 2006

I'd sit down and eat them as is if I had a chance! They don't need chocolate any more than a strawberry does. But they'd also be great in any fruit crumble, sponge pudding etc.
posted by slightlybewildered at 6:08 PM on June 26, 2006

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