Husk cherries. Ground cherries. Husk tomatoes. Ground tomatoes. Cape gooseberries. There are too many names for these lil’ buggers – you can call ’em Physalis if you really want to get scientific about it – but husk cherries is the name I go for.
Last summer, I really noticed them for the first time at my local farmers’ market in Inwood – “Everything In Pint Boxes – $5!!!” a bright cardboard sign exclaimed as I looked at hundreds of little husky pods, unsure what the hell they were but eager to try them! I looked up recipes and settled upon a nice Husk Cherry Clafoutis!
That pint of fruit sat in the back of my fridge for many weeks, and I finally discovered it in October, promptly pitching them into the compost bag in my freezer.
Better luck in 2017, eh?
Sure enough, come mid-August, I started seeing husk cherries in my local farmers’ market; one day, while on a staycation from work, I took myself to the Union Square Farmers’ Market on a bright Wednesday morning and comparison-shopped pints of them, finally finding a $5 pint in one of the last vendors I looked at – side note, I balked at paying $6 for a pint, but then walked to MatchaBar and spent $6 on a iced matcha latte even though I had matcha and milk at home, because I’m THAT PERSON sometimes.
I attempted to make this Husk Cherry Clafoutis recipe I had saved from the previous August; it called for almond extract, which I didn’t have, but then I thought to myself, “Hey! Maybe I can just grind some almonds into the flour for the flavor!”
What erupted from my oven was an oddly delicious concoction that my roommate Kait and I loved – some sort of hybrid bread pudding with the consistency of a lemon bar – but it was definitely not a clafoutis by any means. Though we loved it, I didn’t think it would translate well to a universally – loved recipe by any means.
What can you always do a berry or berry-like fruit, though?
Scones! M’er f’in scones!
The fruits, with a slightly pineapple flavor when yellow and a slightly green apple flavor when greener, are perfect for a buttery scone. Plus, I have a basic scone recipe that I’ve been using for a few years now that has served me right. Its base allows you to add to much to it, including – taaa daaa – husk cherries!Don’t be afraid of or intimidated by these lil’ guys anymore! You now know at least one thing to do with them.
Husk Cherry Scones
– 2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 12 tablespoons (1 & 1/2 sticks) butter, cubed or shredded while frozen (see Before We Get Started…)
– 3/4 cup heavy cream
– 1 cup husk cherries, removed from husks and halved
– 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
– 2 tablespoons heavy cream or liquid of choice
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
Before We Get Started…
– Refer to this recipe on why shredding frozen butter for scones is pretty much the best idea EVER. (Thanks, Dad!)
1.) Preheat oven to 400°F.
2.) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
3.) Add butter to dry ingredients; mix with hands or a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly and mealy. Form a well in the middle of the mixture and add heavy cream. Use hands to combine mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. Add husk cherries and gently combine into the mixture, taking care not to overly squeeze or press the fruit.
4.) Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead for roughly 30 seconds. Form dough into a flat rough circle, approximately 10 inches in diameter. Cut into 8 triangular slices.
5.) Place scones on parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Bake for 14 – 16 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and slightly cracked.
6.) Place on wire rack to cool slightly before eating.
6a.) If glazing scones, allow scones to cool completely before adding glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl, then drizzle glaze on scones with a large spoon.
7.) Store remaining scones in an airtight container.