These funny little fruits have generally fallen out of favour in the UK over the last centuries so unless you happen to know of an established special tree, they’re not a common sight anymore sadly… though I first met them in a neighbour’s garden in Hampshire
Looking like the bizarre lovechild of a small matt-brown russet apple & a massive fat rosehip, the various cultivars of medlar (Mespilus germanica) all have 5 long calyxes on the end opposite the stem & a big open ‘scar’ causing them to be affectionately known in France as ‘cul de chien’ (dog’s arse) haha!
I was kindly gifted this huge bagful by my friend Alan @ Collingham Real Ale & I can’t wait to get cracking! But, I shall *have* to wait, as it’s best to let medlars ‘blet’ (essentially, start to rot!) before using them ?
Like various other members of the apple/rose family (Rosaceae) which need processing to palatable, when fresh medlars are hard, astringent & not very pleasant… but once bletted they go brown, soft & sweet, reminding me of toffee-apple ♡
I’m thinking: jelly; fruit cheese; chutney, liqueur; sticky pudding; sorbet; & maybe vinegar or something? Any other ideas or recipes welcome please!! We shall see ♡
Thanks so much for these Alan & I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with yours too!! 🙂