Pohā Berry Jam

from a recipe submitted by Mrs. E.B. Wicke to Frances Wadsworth’s, Maui Cookery, 1944.


Pohā Berry. Photo Courtesy Ma'ukele Lodge B&B Volcanoes National Park.

The pohā or cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana) is a South American perennial herb that belongs to the tomato family. Its flowers are yellow, and its berries are round, orange, and many-seeded. Pohā berries are eaten raw and are also cooked for jam. Residents of Hawai'i Island also call them pa'ina. (Marie Neal, In Gardens of Hawai'i, 740-741)

Husk and wash the pohā berries.
Place them in a pot with just enough water to cover them.
Bring the water to a low boil and cook them slowly for half an hour.
Stir frequently to prevent scorching.
Let it stand overnight.
Measure the pot’s contents (bulk and juice together) and add an equal amount of sugar.
Also add a little lemon juice (the juice of a half-lemon for each two pounds of pohā) to improve the flavor.
Bring the mixture to a low boil; cook slowly and stir frequently for about 40-50 minutes.
The jam will be ready when a little of it, poured into a dish, shows signs of thickening.
Put into sterilized glass jars and seal when cool.