• Return Home
  • Follow Chef Melissa on Twitter!
  • Like Chef Melissa on Facebook!
  • Subscribe via RSS!
  • Follow Chef Melissa on Pinterest!

Cooking with Cape Gooseberry (Uchuva) and Passion Fruit (Maracuya) edit

Whiskey and vermouth cannot meet as friends, and the Manhattan is an offense against piety. Bernard DeVoto (1897-1956)

That's exactly why we prefer rum sometimes: Try our Hot Lemonade with Rum, Cinnamon and Clove...Tropical and delicious!

I have not posted in a few days and it feels like an eternity. It is called "blogger's guilt," and it hurts. It hurts in the bottom of my heart, needless to say...the bottom of my pan too. Now I am back, so put your comfiest cooking shoes on and sharpen your favorite knife: we are going to cook! beautiful!

I know, I know...I've got to stop the nonsense complaining and start cooking...BUT, I just want to say that if I have to blame it on something...I would blame it on the rain. It has been raining cats and dogs here in Panama. It slows me down a little. I am such a hot weather bug, THAT would bring out the wildest concoctions ideas, and would bake up a storm. So you know!

Uchuv_2 Have you ever heard of the uchuva fruit, or cape gooseberry in some parts of the world? It is a gorgeous piece of heaven, but to tell you the truth, it doesn't turn me on just like that. I have to be inspired. Maybe the rainy weather triggered it this time, who knows? Analyze it if you want, call a nutritionist! LOL! Anyhow, it was great! Wherever the inspiration came from, it did the trick just right...No regrets smile

The uchuva, physalis peruviana linnaeus, is originally from Peru and grows wild in high regions. It is one of the traditional tropical fruits from Colombia and in English it is known as "cape gooseberry", or "yellow gooseberry". The nutritional values of the uchuva are very similar to the cherry.

Dsc05924_2_2 Two hundred years ago, the Portuguese and Spanish sailors introduced the "uchuva" in South Africa. They brought them from Latin America to Buena Esperanza Cape in South Africa. From there it was taken to Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, India, where it's grown commercially.

The uchuva fruit is delicious fresh, baked in cakes, desserts, made into sauces and preserves as well as dressing for salads and grilled meats. In addition to that, the wood from the shrub is used to make furniture.

We invite you to be a little adventurous and try our previous recipe with uchuvas: Almond-Orange Pound Cake and Uchuva Sauce, or just keep reading to get the scoop on how to prepare a delicious ricotta cheesecake dressed with fresh passion fruit and cape gooseberries!


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose-flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel

Directions: Pre-heat oven at 325° for 10 minutes. Beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Bake  for 45 mins. to 1 hour in the prepared crust. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Let sit in the fridge for 2 hours - overnight before unmolding. At the time of serving, garnish with passion fruit pulp and a few fresh uchuvas. The mild sweet taste of the cheesecake, dressed up with the homemade ginger cookies would make the perfect marriage to the sassy tartness of the passion fruit and uchuva. Simply Yum!

For the crust: combine 4 cups of chopped ginger cookies (preferably homemade) and 1/4 cup melted butter, press in pan and fill with the cheese mixture. Bake as directed.

Enjoy and stay tuned for more!


  • by Chef Melissa
  • May 14, 2007
  • 10:20 pm


Picture of Jeremy Jeremy said on...
05.15.07 at 06:08 AM |

I knew uchuvas were gooseberries when I saw the picture : )
I love gooseberie preserves!


Picture of melissa melissa said on...
05.15.07 at 09:31 AM |

Oh yes, they make simply delicious preserves smile
Do you get them there?

Picture of Jeremy Jeremy said on...
05.15.07 at 11:30 AM |

You can get them but there doesn’t seem to be many local sold, primarily they come from South America or South Africa, at a hefty price!

Picture of maria luisa maria luisa said on...
05.16.07 at 07:18 AM |

I Love uchuvas. I first bought them in Farmer’s Market NYC, later I discovered there are from Colombia and Perú. Uchuvas are very difficult to find here in Venezuela, but when I find them I sure buy some. They’re really expensive here. But I love them…!!

Picture of Paz Paz said on...
05.16.07 at 09:35 PM |

How very interesting!  I’ve never tasted any of these fruits.  Querida Melissa, I love your latest photo on the left handside.  It enhances your beautiful blog even more.  wink


Picture of melissa melissa said on...
05.17.07 at 08:26 AM |

They are all delicious, if you have the chance—-get some and experiment mixing with other ingredients. You will have lots of fun smile

Picture of Kimberly Edwards Kimberly Edwards said on...
09.04.07 at 01:29 AM |

My favorite fruit of all time is the passion fruit! 

Also, we grow gooseberries in our gardens, and I just love that time of year when you get to harvest them all!  Ooooooh! 

Thanks for sharing…

Kimberly Edwards :D

Picture of Adriana .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) said on...
06.23.08 at 05:36 PM |

...We get uchuvas (gooseberries) very easy in Colombia..and people love them!

Do you know how to make a sauce out of gooseberries and passion fruit?

I have tried out in restaurants…but don’t know how to make it!

Picture of Gourmet Coffee Bean Maker (Sarah) Gourmet Coffee Bean Maker (Sarah) said on...
02.03.10 at 08:28 PM |

To me, gooseberie / uchuva preserves have long been a best kept secret in my family recipes, but it seems now that it’s not that secret anymore! http://www.gourmetcoffeebeanmaker.com/

Share Your Comment

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:



Recetas Deliciosas

Join Our Mailing List

Powered by FeedBlitz