So, what did I do with the medlars? In my previous post on medlars, I left you with a hint of my intentions. Here is the hint, again, in this photo. Here’s another hint; it involves a little time, plus pears, medlars, sugar, lemon, water, plate, spoon, pot, stove top, bowls, frying pan, a strainer, and absolutely no autumn leaves. Their purpose in the photo was decorative only. So, yes, you guessed it. I made medlar pear jelly. Actually, more pear than medlar because I had 3 pears to brew, and only 2 medlars.
I chopped and chunked the fruit, skin and all; placed it in a small pot with a quarter of a lemon, skin and all; barely covered the fruit with water and, then, had a merry boil-up, till the fruit was soft. Next the contents of the pot were sieved through a cheese cloth . More shoved than sieved because I am not patient with jelly making and rarely do the proper thing, which is to let the fruit liquid seep very, very slowly through the cheese cloth into a container.
The end result was a lovely, pale amber extraction which made me think of mead, or honey wine. It didn’t taste like mead; it did taste like soft, sweet pear juice, flavoured with a drop of medlar essence and a squeeze of lemon.
The next stage was to take one cup of the juice, a quarter cup of lemon juice and one and a quarter cups of sugar and boil the mixture until it jellied ie until a small splodge of it set freely on a cold plate. I like to make jelly, or jam, in small quantities and in a small frying pan, as I find that I get a quicker set that way. And here is the result; three small bowls of golden jelly, ever so firm and smooth and subtlely pear-ish, spiced with the lightest touch of medlar. Would you like some? It is scrumptious on toast.
Footnote: Mead, like the medlar, has a long history. Mead has ancient origins throughout Africa, Asia and Europe and, most likely, pre-dates culitvation of the soil. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead Cats have an ancient history too 🙂