This cape gooseberry pie with mile-high meringue is a wonderfully unique pie using cape gooseberries, also known as goldenberries, and physalis. It is sweet with a subtle tart finish from the berries and a Meyer lemon twist. It will be a new family favorite!
I have a love/hate relationship with my local produce market. I don't like them because they tend to sell a lot of off-season produce that they get from farms in other countries. What i do love about them is they always have a selection of fun produce that I don't find in many other stores such as guavas, cactus leaves, and physalis. Physalis is also known as cape gooseberry, ground cherry or golden berry and are similar to green gooseberries and tomatillos. Most people in America probably know them as cape gooseberries, but I grew up calling them physalis. I am calling them cape gooseberries for the rest of the post so it is easier for people to understand.
It's been a while since I last had cape gooseberries, but I loved peeling them from their husks and eating them. Something about it just made me feel cool.
The fruit is firm and full of seeds, much like a tomato, but are sweet, with a slight acidic tang. The exact flavor is hard to describe because it is so unique, but I love it paired with Meyer lemons. And because I've been craving a pie piled high with meringue, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Just look at all that marshmallowy meringue on top of this cape gooseberry pie. It's gorgeous!
Usually I have a hard time convincing my family to try new things, but it was surprisingly easy to get them to taste my cape gooseberry pie. I think it might have had to do with the fact that I was so excited and borderline demanded that everyone taste my pie. No one complained once that took a bite though. In fact, the entire pie was devoured in a day.
A few expert notes on the cape gooseberry pie
I used a metal pie plate. This affects the baking time. If you use a glass or ceramic pie plate, you will need a longer bake time.
If you do not have cape gooseberries around, that's okay. This pie works wonderfully as a base for just about any other berry. But cape gooseberries have pectin which makes thickening the mixture easier. You may need more cornstarch if you want to use this as a base for a blueberry or blackberry meringue pie.
This recipe makes a LOT of meringue. If you don't want a "mile-high" meringue, then you can easily half the recipe without any issues. No matter what you decide, don't whip up the meringue until your pie is out of the oven and already getting cool for the best results. You can also experiment with different flavors you think will complement your cape gooseberries.
If you don't have Meyer lemons, use regular lemons!