Medlar Jelly by Heather
I have a friend who planted older varieties of fruit trees when they moved into their home some years ago. One of these is a Medlar Tree, which has had a great crop this year, so she gave me some.
My lovely friend Ness wrote a blog about these last year, here is the link to that for some background to this amazing fruit –
I checked through some of my older cookbooks and found a very simple Medlar Jelly recipe. I don’t normally make jelly’s as they are time consuming (waiting for the juice to strain through the muslin) and wasteful, as all the fruit pulp just gets composted. However, the skin of the Medlar is extremely tough, even when cooked, so would distract from the texture and appearance of the finished product.
You need –
Bletted medlars – ‘blet’ comes from old French and means overripe
Sterilized jars – I do this in the oven, so they are already warm. If you use sterilizing solution, you will still have to warm them, as the jelly goes in hot before it starts to set.
Wash and cut up the medlars, placing them in a preserving pan or large saucepan, with enough water to cover them. Simmer slowly until the fruit is reduced to a pulp.
Strain through a scalded jelly bag or piece of muslin. To be sure of a clear jelly it is best not to squeeze the bag.
Measure the juice and return to the pan. For every 600ml/1 pint of juice add 325g/12 oz of sugar, and the juice of a large lemon.
Stir without letting it boil until all the sugar is dissolved.
Boil rapidly until setting point is reached, bletted medlars contain a lot of pectin, so this takes about 10 mins, if using less overripe fruit it may take a little longer.
Skim off any scum with a metal spoon. Fill your jars before it starts to set, place wax disc (wax side down) on the top, to seal the jelly and protect it from the atmosphere and tighten the lids.
Label when cooled.
The jelly does taste lovely, hard to describe – to me it is similar to apple and custard, with a hint of vanilla.
Recipe from –
The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook