I am a big fan of moseying; it is very underrated in this digital age where everything happens so quickly. Well, today I had the opportunity to indulge in a bit of moseying.
I am also a great, great fan of the medlar tree but I’ve never had enough crop to do anything with – until now. Some weeks back I picked the golden fruits. You can leave them to ripen on the tree but as my medlars were already starting to drop I decided to gather them in. The OH spread the medlars on a wooden slatted tray lined with newspaper and placed them in the apple store in one of the outbuildings, (any cool, dry place would do). They were left to ripen (blet).
When ripe the fruit are soft, squidgy and they turn a rusty brown colour, (I probably could have left them to rot a bit longer). A quick weigh, rinse and I was ready to go. Having never made a medlar preserve I did a quick recce of recipes. The medlar is a low acid, low pectin fruit and so needs a hit of citric acid to help increase acidity which in turn works with the fruit pectin to form insoluble fibres. This promotes the set. So, armed with my bit of research, for every kg of fruit I added:
30ml of lemon juice and bunged in the lemon skins as well for the first simmer; 0.5 tsp cinnamon, (allspice is an alternative), and enough water to cover the fruit.
I left the preserve pan to simmer away for about an hour. The next bit takes some time so I made a pot of tea and caught up on Radio 4 listening whilst I pushed the pulp through a sieve:
I added 3/4 in weight of sugar to the ml of puree – hence for my 1litre of puree I added 750g of sugar. I dissolved the sugar and then boiled hard for 10 minutes stirring all the while.
My batch made 4 and half jars of medlar jam.
So that’s Christmas sorted for some lucky, lucky people. Next year I fancy making some of these little medlar cheeses: http://www.historicfood.com/medlar%20cheese%20recipe.htm
Reading this week: 30 years at Ballymaloe by Darina Allen