What on earth is a Medlar?

I discovered this word and had to google it. On a food sharing Facebook page in our region, a lady was giving away Medlars. Well I love to cook, preserve and experiment with new tastes.

Medlars are an old fashioned fruit that grows on a small deciduous tree with white flowers. As it drops its leaves small yellow fruits with a calyx at the end hang from the branches.  They need to be stored until they are soft at which time they may spit becoming brown and looking ominously rotten. This process ‘bletting’, another new word for me, is ripening.

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Well they are versatile and can be made into jelly, jam or chutney. Recntly I blogged Lilly ‘Pilly and Red Rose Jelly’ so I thought I would try chutney instead. Chutney is a nose thing, smell it as it steams adding the flavours you enjoy.

Preparing the Medlars:

  • Wash, cut and cover with water
  • Boil until soft
  • Drain excess fluid but try to keep it to a minimum
  • Press through a coarse sieve with a wooden spoon set aside

You need:

  • A little oil
  • Three good sized brown onions chopped finely
  • Garlic
  • Mustard seeds, Cumin, Turmeric
  • 3-6 Chillies
  • 3 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 6-8 apples
  • Medlar pulp from 2kg of fruit
  • 500gm dark sugar
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt


  • Fry the onions and garlic til caramelised
  • Add spices and stir until the aromas fill the entire house
  • Add apples, Medlars, sugar, vinegar and salt
  • Stir until it becomes thick and pulpy 30-45 minutes
  • Bottle hot into clean jars with metal lids

This is a great accompaniment to cheese, meat and fish. No two batches should ever be the same. Share your experiments in the kitchen. Others may also like to know.

2 thoughts on “What on earth is a Medlar?

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