Medlar Jelly

Medlars The dark brown ones are the ones that have Belted.

Medlars The dark brown ones are the ones that have Belted.

medlar jar

1.5kg crab apples (you can omit these if your confident in setting the jelly) 

2.5kg bletted medlars( ones that have gone soft and brown)

500g firm medlars

3 lemons

3 litres water

1.2kg granulated sugar (this can change you need to measure the amount of juice and add equal amounts of sugar so 1pt =1lb of sugar)

The bletted medlars should be dark and soft before you start. Clean them by removing any stalks and leaves and chopping them in half. Remove any really obvious rotten bits. chop up the lemons and apples into quarters

Place all the fruit chopped into a jam pan (maslin) then add the water.

Slowly bring to fruit and water to boiling point, after 2 mins of boiling reduce the heat and cover the pan with a lid . Simmer and check the pan every 10 mins or so gently with the back of a spoon help break up the fruit.

Once it is mushy and soft this can take up to an hour.

Prepare a jelly bag and pour the fruit and juice into it and let it hang overnight to drip (12 hours) into a clean bowl Don’t squeeze the bag. The following day clean and sterilise a number of jars and lids for the cooking of the jelly.

To sterilized the jars you will need to clean them and warm then in an oven on a heat not greater than 150C to dry the jars and ensure sterilisation. The lids will need to be placed in the oven for a short time also. (If using second hand lids first place a wax disk over the contents of the jar once filled before applying lid.

Now Measure the juice, back into the jam pan and bring to the boil cook for 5 mins.

Measure the juice again and add an equal amount of sugar (which should be about 1 pound to 1 pint of juice ).

Slowly back to the boil and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Only boil once the sugar is dissolved, now with a rolling fast boil, continue to cook the jelly checking every 2-3 mins to see if it setting point has been reached.

You can test for jelly by holding the spoon high above the pan and waiting for the drip, once the dip is struggling to leave the spoon your there. Pour jelly into your sterlised jars and lid. Leave to cool and store in a cool dark lace this jelly is perfect with brie or any good cheese.

English, French American Plum???

Plum: any of several trees producing edible oval fruit having a smooth skin and a single hard stone.

If only it was that simple!

Now I do enjoy learning something new, something I’ve never heard off. Well recently I’ve been on a learning curve of the everyday stuff, like how to get gum out of a woolly jumper (the freezer trick on this material doesn’t work!)

But today while looking for information on something totally different I came across a new plum a sand plum! Intrigued I looked into this discovery, feeling like an early explorer I noted the marking on the leaves the fact it’s very much like a wild cherry plum.

I read harder I spent hours comparing images from its native land and my own foraging notes. Its true something I believed to be very British very much part of my jam heritage, turn on its head. Yes over here and over lovely!

So further reading lead to the conclusion that my tart, yet sweet cherry plum is in fact a sand plum native to North American. Cultivated by the Native Americans, many moons ago! But the cherry plum, something I’ve picked from the Welsh countryside to secret places on coastlines to hidden trees hiding inside the New Forest is in fact American?  Can this be true?

The names keep going around in my head , Sand, Cherry, Horse, Beech I could see in my minds eye these beauties lining the skate parks of California, a new plum BEACH plum!

I was getting overwhelmed  by the research.   But then I remembered it has to be an English Plum not an american!  How am I so certain well the concluding fact is this. Wild plums are in fact a very close relation to wild cherry’s so CHERRY Plum it is. Now were was I sage and plum jam! 



Plums & strawberries!

 Autumn Strawberries What a wonderful day. Wednesday’s can be well.. a little bit boring!  but not today! I was lucky enough to discover a wonderful farm shop Where I picked up some homegrown plums and meet some wonderful people. I even stopped to enjoy the on-site farm cafe and indulged in a little homemade cake and a set me up for the day coffee! ( Its a great place for pick your own, with a few other wonderful little places to discover working alongside the farm) I had stopped longer than I had anticipated and it was time to make my return journey back into the New Forest, where yesterday I had stumbled across a new patch of autumn strawberries, and at this time of year they needed picking asap.  Wow what a taste, it was like a first kiss sweet and tingly. So what went into the pan? First off plums, with a little Amaretto a favorite for some of you. Naturally I do a naked plum. The strawberries I steeped in sugar and added a little something special, these lovelies will be on the stove tomorrow.Yes tomorrow? well I’ve been tipped off about an apple tree, I have  not seen in the forest before, so will I be cooking a new recipe or firm Favorite ? I let you know tomorrow.  

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Jennifer Williams

Chief Jam Maker

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