Ground Cherry Hot Sauce


This past weekend, we set out to make a mild hot sauce from this season’s ground cherry harvest. Because the plant was new to us this year and we didn’t know what to expect, we only grew two plants.

The ground cherry plant flowers and produces fruit in a husk similar to a tomatillo, but much smaller. Once husked most are the size of a large pea or blueberry. The cherries are harvested as the husks dry a bit and the fruit falls to the ground. We were pleasantly surprised with their mildly sweet flavor and early on decided to freeze all we got to make something special with them at the end of the season.


Mr. Ghetto came up with the idea that we could make a hot sauce with them, but not so hot that I couldn’t eat it. I do like hot spice, but my taste buds aren’t as tough as Mr. Ghetto’s. He usually uses habañeros in his yearly hot sauce which are a bit too hot for me. For this sauce we tried adding just a few mild jalapeños to the ground cherry mixture. I think it came out just perfect and I am sure we will grow even more ground cherry plants again next year.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1lb, 3oz of husked ground cherries
  • 2.5 oz chopped jalapeno peppers
  • 1.5 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 pinches of kosher salt

Husk and clean the ground cherries.


Chop the jalapeños.

Add ground cherries, jalapeños and vinegar to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil the mixture uncovered until the fruit and peppers are soft — approximately 30-45 minutes and remove from heat.

Process the mixture in a food mill using it’s finest attachment and place back in the sauce pan.

Add honey and salt and bring the sauce back to a medium boil. Reduce to desired thickness.

Let it cool and bottle it. Store in refrigerator.

We added 1/4 cup of honey to our sauce. I think if all of our cherries had been completely ripe, we could have added less, but this is just a guess. We had a variance in color of light orange to yellow to green cherries even though all were harvested off the ground as prescribed.

You can make the sauce hotter by adding more jalapeños or even habañeros if you’re adventurous.

This recipe produced one precious bottle (yes one) of yummy sauce. This sauce would be wonderful on any meat or fish. Stay tuned here at the ghetto and we’ll show you our first meal with it!


~ by dutchghetto on October 26, 2009.

2 Responses to “Ground Cherry Hot Sauce”

  1. Fabulous pictures and narrative!! Do more!! Tell Mr. Ghetto he needs to be coming up w/more spicy recipes; maybe set up himself at the Hot Pepper Festival!! You guys could sell printed out copies of this or books!!

  2. […] previously gave you the recipe for the ground cherry hot sauce. Now for the ribs to go with […]

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