A bronze-coloured preserve for eating with cold roast meat. If you have no firm medlars, only ‘bletted’ ones, then you can still make a perfectly good jelly.
Makes a medium-sized jar
800g bletted medlars (see below)
200g firm medlars
1.2 litres water
Achieving the perfect results
Make sure the medlars are well bletted and remove any leaves. Cut each fruit in half and drop into a heavy-based saucepan. Pour over the water. Cut the lemon into six pieces and add it to the fruit. Bring to the boil then turn the temperature down so that the liquid simmers gently, Partially cover with a lid and leave to cook for an hour, taking care that the liquid doesn’t evaporate, and giving the fruit an occasional squash with a wooden spoon. Avoid the temptation to stir or mash the fruit which will send the finished jelly cloudy.
Pour the fruit and its liquid into a jelly bag suspended over a large jug or bowl. (I hang mine from the taps over the sink) Let the juice drip into the jug, giving it the occasional squeeze till all the juice has dribbled through.
Put the juice back into a clean saucepan and boil for four minutes, then add an equal amount of sugar (this is likely to be about 500g or 2 cups). When the sugar has dissolved pour into clean, warm jars and seal. I use Kilner jars with rubber seals. Leave to cool.
To blet medlars
Medlars appear in farm shops and occasionally farmer’s markets and specialist food shops in late autumn. They are usually bought rock hard and have to be softened. Pull off any leaves and place the whole fruits on a shallow plate. Don’t pile them up. Leave them at cool room temperature till they turn deep brown and are soft, almost squashy, to the touch. They are then ready to cook.