Ground Cherry Clafoutis

Tart ground cherries compliment a sweet almond and custard like filling in a somewhat traditional French Clafoutis.  Traditional French Clafoutis is made using fresh cherries with their pits still in.  The pits give the dessert the slight almond taste.  Ground cherries do not have pits so the addition of almond flavoring is required.


When we were in Montreal last weekend we went to the Marche Atwater, which is a fantastic farmer’s market, you can find everything and anything there.  I have this crazy addiction to anything French but when I am given the opportunity to shop in a French Supermarche or even a Pharmacie, I go nuts buying all sorts of little things.   You can imagine how I was when I saw these ground cherries;  I was smiling ear to ear!  We have only seen ground cherries one other time, at Lenny’s mother’s house last summer.  We knew she would love some so we purchased a big basket to smuggle back to the states.   We ate a large portion, gave her some and brought the rest back to California.

What is a ground cherry?  A ground cherry also known as a Physalis is a small orange fruit similar to a very small cherry tomato, but it is enclosed in a large papery husk, which reminded me of a paper lantern.  The small fruit does not have a pit, but rather a bunch of tiny seeds.  The taste is slightly tart with a mild, and refreshing acidity.


I love making clafoutis and whenever I have some stone fruits laying around that are in need of love, I fall back onto a clafoutis.  Traditional it is made with cherries but any stone fruit works just as nicely.  The texture is somewhat custard like but a little firmer.  I usually pit my fruit when I made it, therefore, I add either almond extract or I use almond flour, which gives it a great texture as well as flavor.  This is a great and easy recipe to have on hand all year!


Recipe:  Ground Cherry Clafoutis

* 1 serving

1/4 lb ground cherries, left whole

1 egg

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon almond extract


Heat oven to 350.  Butter small gratin dish and sprinkle ground cherries in it.  Mix the egg, sugar, flour, milk and almond extract, until well blended.  Pour over the ground cherries and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until golden and lightly puffed.  Serve.  Eat.


  1. Wow, looks great! I have a clafoutis on my menu for this weekend. So easy and yet delicious as well.

  2. Great idea to use these in a clafoutis! I remember when I first saw these in London, I had to buy them as we don’t have anything like them here :)

  3. nice recipe! i clicked thru to this post b/c i loved buying these on my last trip to montreal, only to find that you got them there too! i’d also like to add that these make a great savory topping to pork, beef, chicken, etc. as well. saute w/ onions, garlic wine and stock, you’ve got a great sauce for meat! tart, sweet and summery.

  4. Are ground cherries the same as tomatillos? They look EXACTLY like them, but I’ve never heard them called this before…

  5. I’m such a dope… I thought they were tomatillos. Don’t look at me, we don’t get those here! Ha ha ha. Great idea with the clafoutis!

  6. After seeing the pictures, I thought they might be related to tomatillos – we grow them, but they are green and taste like a tart tomato. I did a search and this seed website says they are a european cousin to the tomatillo. I think this might be something new to try and grow.

  7. I love ground cherries and this is a great
    take on the traditional Cherry Clafoutis
    that I make with gluten-free flour.
    Merci beaucoup for this recipe highlighting
    a little used but wonderful fruit.

    Really nice images as well…

  8. That looks good! I am going to have to see if I can find these ground cherries.

  9. those are called Physalis, also known as a Cape Gooseberry. Try pulling back the husks, dip in chocolate and then roll in coconut (a dessert at Kaefers in Munchen)

  10. Laurie says:

    Help! I’d love to make your recipe, but the first ingredient is: “1/4 ground cherries, left whole” 1/4 of what? 1/4 cup? I’m lost…but would love to make this. Hope you’ll see this comment and let us know. :)

  11. Dorde says:

    I made jam once with our nature Physalis longifolia, (similar but smaller)together witht yellow tomatoes. Good!

  12. The problem is we just don’t see them that often down this way. I’d love to see your recipe – incase I see them (again). ~ Denise


  1. […] Gooseberries :: Gooseberry Galette or Ground Cherry Clafoutis […]

  2. […] Clafouti as well as galettes are a staple summertime dessert in our house.  I tend to whip one up whenever I have some overripe stone fruit laying around.  I particularly love late summer apricots with an almond flavoring.  Bliss.  I have never considered adding berries.  Don’t ask me why; because, I cannot even begin to answer that question.  Then my friend Tracy whipped up a strawberry claufouti and provoked the baking goddess in me. […]

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