Cape Gooseberry & Raspberry Clafouti

Being indigenous to South American countries like Columbia, Physalis doesn’t exactly fit into the local food movement around here. However, they are in season right now.

Physalis, or Cape Gooseberries, come naturally wrapped, giving them a shelf life of over a month or more. Described as a cross between sweet cherry tomato and pineapple flavours, the Cape Gooseberry actually isn’t a gooseberry at all. In fact, it’s about the closest to the tomato, coming from the nightshade family.

An interesting combination of tart and sweet, they are a perfect and versatile match for desserts, preserves, salads or savoury dishes.

From the moment I saw my little package of Cape Gooseberries, it was destined for my grocery cart and clafouti. Most typically toped with cherries, clafouti is a French baked custard that’s super simple to make and rustic yet elegant to present.

Having not baked with Cape Gooseberries before, I still wasn’t so brave as to go it alone to tempt my clafouti solo. I opted to pair the Gooseberries with a handful of raspberries, which turned out to be a tasty choice. Both seedy, a bit tart but sweet, they balanced really well.

So well, my vegan friends thought I might just have been pulling a fast one this time.


1/2 Package Firm Silken Tofu, about 210g
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Soy Milk
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Brandy
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Pint Cape Gooseberries, about 1/2 cups halved
1/2 Cup Raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 Tablespoons Demerra Sugar

Combine the soy milk, lemon juice and brandy; Stir and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
In a food processor, blend the tofu until very smooth
Add the sugar and vanilla, continuing to blend.
Pour in the soy milk mixture into the tofu.
Sift the flour and baking powder and add just to combine.
Pour the batter into a cast iron skillet, soufflé or oval baking dish.
Evenly top with fruit.
Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until the edges are browned and the center is set.
Cool and dust with confectioners sugar.


~ by Dayna on February 26, 2008.

16 Responses to “Cape Gooseberry & Raspberry Clafouti”

  1. I’ve never tried gooseberries before, I’ve been too fearful because of what they look like, but now it looks like I have an excuse to!

  2. Very nice looking recipe! I appreciate that it has no fat and not a lot of sugar.

  3. Ooh, I am so excited about your clafouti recipe!

  4. This looks heavenly! I like that there’s no margarine or oil in the recipe. If I can find cape gooseberries I’ll definitely make this.

  5. I had a jam made of cape gooseberries while I was in Peru this past summer. So good I dreamed about it when I got back. I only realized what they were when paging through Chez Panisse Fruits, which has a whole section on them. Great photos!

  6. My piece of cake! I can almost smell it! :)
    Filed a recipe, thanks!

  7. yum!!! i was actually just thinking of making a clafouti this weekend — yours looks so elegant and delicious!

  8. sounds perfect

  9. That is, without a doubt, the most breathtakingly beautiful clafouti that I have EVER seen, in all my 20 years of existence; and I mean that. The gooseberries and other fruits that you used, truly make that dessert something special.

  10. Clafouti! I only ever had a pear clafouti once pre-vegan and never really though I could eat one again. Wow, I never ceased to be impressed by your blog!

  11. Absolutely beautiful photography, totally makes me want to eat the clafouti NOW. And I had no idea about gooseberries!

  12. I saw those cape gooseberries in Paris! I wish I could have brought some back with me…

  13. Hi Dayna,

    I did everything exactly as you wrote in your recipe … but mine clafouti was not pretty at all. It did not have ( how to say it? ) body, if you know what I mean? Could you help?

  14. Hi Kata,
    I’m not exactly sure what you mean about body.
    I usually find that as long as the tofu, make sure that it’s silken, is whipped well in a food processor and the soy milk is very well incorporated, this will turn out fairly light and custard-y.
    Perhaps check the depth of the dish it was baked in. I used my 8″ oval baking dish, it’s about 2″ deep, about the same as a cast iron skillet.
    I hope you get to try it again. This is a recipe my guests and I have really enjoyed.


  16. I think those cape gooseberries are called ground cherries here in Wisconsin. Maybe that will help people find them?
    They are called Ground Cherries!
    They are also often referred to by its Latin name, Physalis Peruviana, known in English as golden berry.
    In Hindi it’s Rasbhari (रसभरी), gu niao, in Chinese (菇茑) and in Egypt, it is called Harankash.
    No matter what you call it, it’s gaining popularity as one of the “Super Berries”. It’s becoming more readily grown and available everywhere!

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