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Medlar time!
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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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1
November 25, 2023 - 9:53 pm

I've been eating some. The first one was mediocre. I was a bit worried.  However, I have tried a couple of outstanding ones since then.  Mostly Nottingham variety.  I cut out most of the Royal part of the tree when I decided that Nottingham tasted much better.   I took James? advice and ordered the Kha Kheti into my tree from the National Germplasm office in Corvallis.  It's growing but not fruiting yet.  I am going to get a ton of medlars this year. Have any of you figured out a way to preserve them?

JohN S
PDX OR

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Dannytoro1
60 Posts
(Online)
2
November 26, 2023 - 5:36 am

That is a fruit I have never seen at hand, much less eaten. I picture it like some of our rather dry Hawthorns and mayhaws. Probably cooks somewhat like it I wonder? Possibly like our American Beauty berries. We do Jellies with all of them.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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3
November 26, 2023 - 10:33 am

A ripe one is juicy and much bigger than those other fruit. Also, much more delicious IMHO. It's like the size of a small plum. Tastes like applesauce with spice already in it. 

John S
PDX OR

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
(Online)
4
November 26, 2023 - 11:31 am

John do you let them "rot" on the tree or do you store them someway?

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Larry_G
187 Posts
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5
November 26, 2023 - 12:11 pm

The term is "blet" rather than "rot".

 

Some years ago I was given a few pounds of so-so medlars, fully ripe and bletted.

My auger-type juicer did a good job, after the pips and sepals were removed, of

grinding the flesh and peel into a paste. Then cooked them with a little sugar.

This made an excellent sandwich spread. I would think the substance should freeze well.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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6
November 29, 2023 - 9:35 pm

Good info Larry G,

I think I'll try to freeze some this year.   It's a lot of work to remove the seeds, so I think I'll try to freeze the whole fruit and see how it goes.

JOhn S
PDX OR

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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7
December 1, 2023 - 12:04 pm

I think that we are currently at peak medlar, at least for this year in my yard.  How many other delicious fruit are you harvesting from the yard at their peak now? I decided to try to freeze some medlars and hawthorns whole to see how they will turn out.  I still am eating a lot of quince these days. 

John S
PDX OR

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
(Online)
8
December 1, 2023 - 12:06 pm

John,

What do you do with the quince? I thought they were hard as rock unless cooked.

 

Chris

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Larry_G
187 Posts
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9
December 2, 2023 - 12:08 pm

Some quince varieties can be thin-sliced for fresh consumption.

Otherwise they are as hard as wood. Rock is a bit extreme.

I can get through about 50 pounds of quince per year by making sauce and juice for the freezer.

One fellow had been getting upwards of 100 pounds per year from me; he cuts them into chunks,

lathers them with something, and bakes.

 

I just brought in the last single quince fruit for aromatherapy, and brought in the last batch of feijoa.

I won't have anything now until red raspberries in June 2024.

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sweepbjames
NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
234 Posts
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10
December 2, 2023 - 4:17 pm

John S said

I think I'll try to freeze some this year.   It's a lot of work to remove the seeds, so I think I'll try to freeze the whole fruit and see how it goes.

  

One of the last HOS fruit shows, the folks presenting for the One Green World Nursery, had samples of medlar in small paper cups.  That event was always the second weekend in October so medlar wouldn't have been naturally blet by that time. When questioned of how it occurred they had medlar to sample, their response was the medlar had been put to the freezer for an unspecified time. I might suspect probably a week might be a benchmark as a trial. Figure the medlar fruit must need to be a certain amount towards ripening, developing the sugars; and close enough to sync with the timing of the event.  If you had lots, figuring to process, supposing that 'freeze-bletting' to get everything ready at the same time, and give yourself time to figure more conveniently. Probably need to experiment with the timing a bit to get it.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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11
December 2, 2023 - 7:24 pm

Thanks James,

That's a great idea. I had thought about gathering some that were almost ripe, but I didn't this year.  Lots of room for experimentation.

John S
PDX OR

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Larry_G
187 Posts
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12
December 3, 2023 - 12:27 pm

I suppose it would be easiest to chuck them whole into containers for freezing, but I would rather deal with

seed removal first, and get it out of the way, so when it came time to use the fruit, it would be pre-processed.

With the fruit at a very soft stage and just the sepals removed, the fruit could be pressed into the container.

That would result in less air space and a more efficient storage. Either way, seed removal is a messy affair.

 

At the last HOS annual potluck that was held at the Grange in Milwaukee (perhaps the 2nd or 3rd from the last meeting ever)

(and this was Mr. Schroyer's last meeting), Sarah Smith had a fruit presentation and used a dab of medlar as centered topping

on shortbread-type cookies.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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13
December 3, 2023 - 8:09 pm

I just ate one of my Royal medlars.  I kept a small section on the tree for pollination.   When I ate it today, I remembered why I pruned the tree over for Nottingham.  Nottingham is spectacular. Royal is merely pretty good. It wasn't just the case of the Nottinghams being really good one year and the Royals being mediocre that year.  Nottingham has a more complex, tart, zing to it that really does it for me.   Maybe next year my Kha Kheti from Georgia will be coming in.  I'll have to see if I agree with James on the quality of the flavor.

John S
PDX OR

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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14
December 23, 2023 - 7:35 pm

I still have about 50 of them in the tree. I don't ever remember them staying good this late, or even on the tree.  Some of them aren't juicy anymore and have become solid. I don't like those. Some have started to get a moldy part on the blossom end, so then I don't eat the whole fruit.  But most of them are still really good.

John S
PDX OR

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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15
December 25, 2023 - 3:25 pm

Raintree video:

John S
PDX OR

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
16
December 25, 2023 - 3:30 pm

I don't peel mine. I just bite through the soft stem end and eat the "applesauce". Sometimes I will chew through the whole thing and tear the fruit off the seeds. Sometimes I will just suck up all the good applesauce and throw the rest away with the seeds. By this time of year, the bottom/blossom end often has some amount of mold, so I rarely eat it.

John S
PDX OR

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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17
January 12, 2024 - 6:14 pm

Chris M said
John,

What do you do with the quince? I thought they were hard as rock unless cooked.

 

Chris

  

As Larry G said, Crimea(Krimskaya) and Kuganskaya are great fresh, usually sliced and eaten. Some people like Aromatnaya that way. I don't .  You can still cook these, and my wife puts them in apple/quince sauce and apple pies.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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18
January 12, 2024 - 6:15 pm

This is the first year that I've been able to eat medlars after the new year has passed.  It may be something about the Nottingham variety, or how late some fruit were this year.  Also, I just like them so much more than Royal, that I'm paying more attention.

John S
PDX OR

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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19
January 18, 2024 - 12:31 pm

Sorry Chris,

I let Larry G answer that one.  They will blet on the tree, depending on the variety. Most of my Nottinghams did. It's obvious when they are bletted: they are soft and sweet.  Beforehand, they are hard as an apple and inedible.  Some fall first. I put some in a container to keep them away from the squirrels and they bletted and tasted excellent.

I haven't dug up my experiment where I  froze some ripe medlars and hawthorns. I should probably do that soon.

 

John S
PDX OR

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JohannsGarden
17 Posts
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20
January 18, 2024 - 1:52 pm

I would like to clarify something.  

Medlars can blet, and medlars can rot.  Bletted medlars are delicious.  Rotted medlars are not. 

Rotting is a breakdown of the fruit caused by living organisms which are consuming it.  Medlars can rot either before or after bletting.  This is often caused by mold and seems more common on larger types. 

Bletting is a programmed breakdown of the fruit which is self-induced by its own enzymes.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
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21
January 18, 2024 - 6:24 pm

JohannsGarden said
I would like to clarify something.  

Medlars can blet, and medlars can rot.  Bletted medlars are delicious.  Rotted medlars are not. 

Rotting is a breakdown of the fruit caused by living organisms which are consuming it.  Medlars can rot either before or after bletting.  This is often caused by mold and seems more common on larger types. 

Bletting is a programmed breakdown of the fruit which is self-induced by its own enzymes.

  

I think a good answer,

But any ingenious ideas from people how to store, what to add alongside them material-wise, to make them last longer and not rot?

I did some researching about biodynamic tree paste thanks to a recent post under fruit tree problems but it included cow dung as an ingredient, which I think would work, but not very ingenious.

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jafar
780 Posts
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22
January 18, 2024 - 6:49 pm

You might think it more clever if you had cows.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
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23
January 18, 2024 - 10:31 pm

From a scientific standpoint it's assumed cow dung contains the involvement of beneficial endophytes to the detriment of harmful microbes which in turn could also be detrimental to us. Now I have two reasons for not having cows anymore. I don't drink milk and cow dung endophytes may be unhealthy. Nothing personal about milk but some can't have much and I'm one of them, but I get the joke.

I thought about using endophytes from hazelnut trees as mentioned a while on another forum topic as a rot barrier for pin cherry seeds I had to split for a year to get the best germination. So if catkins were used as a spawn to prolong medlars then the truth is that even those kinds from plants can cause health issues to us as in cattle, IE. https://farmwest.com/wp-conten.....7-West.pdf

I just can't post any idea without the possibility of being on the losing end of a lawsuit, thus the link above about unhealthy cattle. Smile

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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24
January 20, 2024 - 9:10 am

I use biodynamic tree paste to heal the tree. I have never heard of it being used with the fruit.  It's kind of like having more soil around the sick part of the tree trunk.  I would never put cow manure on food I wanted to eat, but I might use it on the trunk of the tree or in the soil.

When medlars are bletted and good to eat, they are soft,  juicy, sweet,  and delicious.  Sometimes they will become dried out and are no longer good to eat.  I have noticed mold on the blossom end of many. Sometimes the top is still good to eat, but that's a good sign to be careful.

 

John S
PDX OR

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lolilenon
1 Posts
(Offline)
25
April 10, 2024 - 6:18 pm

It sounds like you've really been enjoying your medlars! Preserving them can be a great way to extend your enjoyment of the harvest. One method you might consider is making medlar preserves or jam. It's a delicious way to capture the flavor of the fruit and enjoy it throughout the year. You could also try drying them to make medlar chips, or even fermenting them to make medlar vinegar. Experiment with different preservation methods to find the one that suits your taste best! tapfit

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
26
April 10, 2024 - 8:47 pm

So I did break down and taste some of the frozen medlars. They weren't as good. I saved most of them still, so we'll see if I am more impressed by the quality later.

John S
PDXOR

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Chris M
Philomath, OR
156 Posts
(Online)
27
April 11, 2024 - 1:40 pm

John,

An ice cream company in Pasadena CA makes a medlar ice cream, if you go that way. Its basically a frozen custard (milk, cream, eggs sugar cooked and cooled) and medlar. They sold it for 5 buck a scoop, ten years ago, and it sold out in weeks.

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Larry_G
187 Posts
(Offline)
28
April 11, 2024 - 3:31 pm

John, did the freeze/thaw change the texture of the medlar, or was the flavor also affected?

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
29
April 11, 2024 - 7:53 pm

Good question. Both.  The texture wasn't smooth like apple sauce any more.  Also, the flavor was lacking a lot of the more subtle tart/sweet notes. It seemed to have a simpler flavor.

John S
PDX OR

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