Medlars have become one of the forgotten fruits due to their decline in popularity. That doesn’t make them any less delicious though. In fact, if you have a medlar tree in your garden then it makes you incredibly lucky. It’s not a fruit you see in the shops often so if you can grow your own, you are in for a treat come harvest season.
Have you found yourself with a glut of medlars and no space in your kitchen? This is a fun problem to have so don’t despair. You’ll be surprised at just how much you can do with excess medlars. Pop your thinking cap on and have a read of our suggestions – you’ll soon be itching to use up your glut.
Don’t have time to be inventive with the fruit at the moment? Or perhaps you just can’t make up your mind what to do with them right now? A simple solution is to freeze medlars until you need them. Freeze in slices or blanched – either will work fine and it means you can enjoy this so-called winter fruit anytime of the year.
Medlars are deceptively tasty as a smoothie treat and go very well with apples or pears. If you make up some medlar purée and freeze in ice cubes then you can retrieve the ideal portion sizes when required. Medlar fruit provides a fairly tart taste so you will want to add some honey or other sweetener into your chosen recipe. Or you can pair with a naturally sweet fruit such as a banana.
Medlar jelly is an absolute treat and well worth the effort to make. When you make jelly you are using the fruit in its puréed form.
Due to the time of year medlar fruit is harvested (November) then you could make some jam as Christmas gifts. This jam goes with cheese so you could enjoy a wonderful ploughman’s lunch. It also tastes nice on homemade bread or warm croissants. Hungry yet?
To make medlar cheese you need to run the fruit through a sieve to discard the skin and pips. Often medlar jam and cheese are assumed to be the same thing. The process you use to prepare the fruit will determine which it is because with jam you can keep the pips. Either jam or cheese is an ideal way of using up a lot of medlar in one go.
How To Make Medlar Cheese
- You need to let the medlars go through the bletting process first. This means leaving them once picked to go soft.
- You can squeeze the fruit to break the skin and scoop the pulp out using a spoon.
- You should then place the medlars through a sieve to discard the pips and any skin as you don’t use these.
- You can then add the medlar pulp into a saucepan.
- Into the same pan add granulated sugar – the amount of sugar should match the weight of the medlar pulp.
- Stir the medlar and sugar over a low heat until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the sugar has dissolved you can turn the heat up and continue to stir until the liquid has thickened.
- Once it’s thickened you can pour your medlar cheese into a loaf tin and leave it to cool which will take many hours.
- You can then pop it in the fridge ready to slice when you’d like some.
Making and Infusing Alcohol
Despite being an uncommon fruit these days, it doesn’t mean it loses its versatility. You can make wonderful gin with those excess medlars – or any other tipple that takes your fancy. Again, great for those Christmas gift ideas and you can buy some very pretty bottles for making and infusing alcohol.
You can opt for some tasty desserts as a way to use up that medlar glut. It’s surprising how many recipes there are for medlar cakes. You can do a spiced loaf, tarts, upside-down cake, and muffins. Best of all, you can freeze your baked goods to save for a rainy day. Ginger and medlar make a lovely combination so you could incorporate these together.