Monday, November 14, 2011

Medlar Jam!

I did it! I did it! I really, really did! And boy oh boy am I ECSTATIC about it! After searching the web to find various methods of baking and creating with medlar, I pieced together a few simple steps to come up with this beautiful tart but sweet jam. Everyone that steps foot in this house, gives it a try and is blown away by the taste! I just had to share.

Now, not all of the fruit is ripe when picked. Remember, this little guy needs frost to make the pulp turn soft, to be edible. (That's why it's considered a late fall, early winter fruit.) So....first take the fruit that is not soft. Cut off both ends, keeping the skin on, toss them into a cooking pot, (this particular sky blue pot is cast iron - cooks really great, but when you cook with cast iron, remember that the heat does not need to be as high as the recipe may call for.) Next, take your soft fruit and from the papery bud ends, hold it and squeeze all the pulp out. The amount of fruit calls for the equal amount of sugar and of water.  I added lemon zest to mine and think it gives a great surprise. After a couple minutes, (watch it carefully), the solid fruit should start to pop and the skin will break. When this happens, remove from heat and and use a potato masher to stomp everything down to a thick soup consistency but with little clumps. (The clumps are the seeds you don't need.) Next, grab a separate bowl and a large strainer. Pour everything into the strainer and use a wooden spoon to mash everything through. If you do this part right, your hand and arm will be very sore at the end of this recipe, but you will be left with a little piece of heaven in your bowl:)  Clean your cooking pot and pour the ingredients back in. Cook for 5-7 more minutes on a medium to low heat. You can add more lemon zest and other ingredients if you like. Jar your jam while it's still hot so it cools to a seal. Could you imagine if you added little edible lavender flowers? How great! Use this jam on toast, biscuits, pancakes, and crepes. It really is a unique and fruity taste, similar to a cross between a quince and pear. Hope you enjoy!

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