A trip to the grocery store today provided the inspiration for this luscious dessert. For the first time I saw pichuberries in the produce department. I had no idea what they were, but I loved how beautiful they were with their delicate papery husk and bright yellow berry inside. Once I got them home I peeled the husk off to find a waxy textured fruit with little white seeds inside. They had a tart delicate flavor. I decided to pair them with blueberries in some sort of dessert. Before deciding how to use them I researched online to find out a little more about them.
You may know them by many other “adopted” names including Cape Gooseberry, Goldenberry, Ground Cherry, and Uchuva. This fruit is in no way related to the gooseberry or ground cherry. They are native to Peru, associated with the lost Incan Civilization and Machu Picchu. Who knew? The people at Pichuberry refer to them as The Lost Incan Treasure. I knew I wanted to do something special with them.
With few recipes for pichuberries available online, I looked for Cape Gooseberry recipes. The moment I saw a recipe for Cape Gooseberries Strawberry Flaugnarde, I knew where I was going with my pichuberries. A flaugnarde close cousin to a clafouti, minus the cherries. It is a fruited custard that forms a crust during baking. And, it is delicious.
- 2 cups pichuberries, cut in half
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- ½ cup flour
- ⅔ cup sugar, divided
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously butter a deep 9" pie pan or tart pan. Do not use a two-piece tart pan! The batter is too thin and it will leak out.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the milk, half the sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla extract. Using a hand held mixer, beat together until smooth and lumps are removed. Pour ⅔ of the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
- Toss the fruit in a bowl with the remaining ⅓ cup sugar.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Evenly distribute the sugared fruit on top. Carefully pour the remaining custard over the top. (I actually used a turkey baster to do this.)
- Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 45- 50 minutes. The custard will puff up and turn golden brown. Remove from the oven when the center barely jiggles. Serve warm or cold.