What’s it called – physalis

Also known as a Cape gooseberry, Inca berry, Aztec berry, golden berry or giant ground cherry – physalis is closely related to the tomatillo and is packed full of vitamin C. Physalis is native to Central and South America and is bright yellow when ripe. It’s a very sweet fruit, making it ideal for baking into pies and making jam.

The flowers of the fruit are usually yellow in color. The fruit grows within a green and also purple bladder-like calyx that appears just like a tiny Chinese lantern clinging through the stem. The fruit consists of twice the quantity of Vitamin C as that in lemons and appears just like a blonde-red cherry tomato with a more sweeter flavor than the tomatillo that they’re compared to.

When growing physalis, the plant tends to prefer full sun and protection from strong winds. It can be grown in the UK under glass and they have been known to be undamaged by the early frosts. The health benefits of phylasis are incredible; it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits and is also a natural diuretic and laxative. As well as being a great source of beta-carotene, iron, calcium and trace amounts of B vitamins – an all round champion when it comes to health benefits.

 

Jam recipe

What you need…

200g Physalis

120g sugar

120ml green tea

200ml water

lemon juice

 

 How to cook…

Thoroughly wash a small, empty conserve jar and lid. Preheat your oven to 150ºC and place the jar and lid into the hot oven for about 5 minutes to sterilize it. Remove the papery leaves from the physalis and then wash them, before cutting each one in half. Place into a small pan and add the green tea. Cover and simmer for about 3 – 5 minutes, until the physalis have started to soften a little more. Add the sugar and bring to the boil. Boil the jam for about 5 minutes before gently pouring into the sterilized conserve jar, seal the jar and allow to cool before eating.

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