A beautiful day to be out harvesting on Saturday, then a dank day to be indoors preserving on Sunday – in some ways a perfect weekend! Medlar jelly is such a beautiful clear rich colour and tastes delicious with cheese or by itself on toast. My children also like it with a Sunday roast.
By picking up the windfalls some are soft and some are hard – you need both for jelly as the soft are sweet and the hard have more pectin to help the set.
I use the old Constance Spry recipes for this kind of thing, they are so simple and no-nonsense.
Here is her adapted recipe which will also do for crab apple, apple, blackberry and apple and unripe quinces:
Wash whole medlars, just cover with water and bring to boil then simmer until pulpy.
Strain for a few hours through a jelly bag. (Don’t squeeze the bag as it makes the jelly cloudy)
Measure the juice and add 1lb granulated sugar per pint of juice.
Add the pared rind and juice of a lemon or two to taste.
Bring to the boil slowly, stirring, then boil rapidly until a teaspoon on a cold saucer will set.
Pour into warm sterilised jars.
I have seen medlars in the local deli and farm shop this week – so if you don’t have a tree yet you can still have a go!