Harvesting Medlars

Question ...

My Medlar tree has produced a bumper crop this year, I have never used the fruits before, can you advise me on when to pick them and give me some recipes for using the fruits?

Answer ...

Medlar fruits are unusual both in appearance and in their ripening habits. They are very hard and inedible until they start to decay. They will rarely reach this stage by themselves on the tree and need to be harvested as late as possible in November . They should be left in a box in a cool dry place, resting on damp straw and kept away from mice, until they turn a dark reddish brown and become soft and juicy. This ripening process is known as "bletting" the medlars. They can then be used to make jams, jellies and medlar cheese.

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