Thursday, December 07, 2006


Medlars are the strangest looking fruit. Stranger still the accepted manner of eating them on the verge of rotting. Yuk. I picked some handfuls yesterday, and having given them a good wash in cold water, left them overnight in the kitchen. Today I shall make medlar jelly, following the same basic steps as set out in posts earlier in the autumn.
Can I find a recipe? Consulting a glossy coffee table book on preserving (biltong anyone?) and Jeremy Round's The Independent Cook drew a blank. Even Mrs Beeton had nothing to say in her second edition All About Cookery. Hurray for Jane Grigson, in English Food. Perfect. If you need something reliable always turn to Jane Grigson, my favourite cook. Here is her recipe;
Quince, Medlar, Sorb or Crab Apple Jelly
Although quinces should be ripe, medlars and sorbs are best used before they get to the softened, bletted stage when they are pleseant to eat as a dessert fruit. Crab apples should be used when they are just ripe.
Cut up the fruit after washing it. Cover it with water, and continue as in the recipe above ( or the posts below.) Precious quinces can be eked out with a proportion of windfall apples - in very thin years I have used 1/2 lb of quinces to 1 1/2 lb of apples and the jelly has still been delicious. These jellies are not as tart (as the ones above) but they go well with pork. Medlar jelly is good with poultry or game.
So there you have it. Jane has spoken. Picture to follow.

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