Medlar Nottingham

Medlar Nottingham (Mespilus germanic). The name Medlar originates from France. It is a hugely underrated variety of fruit that has a sublime apple-pear sauce flavour and texture. Not the prettiest of fruits, it was commonly known as the "Dog's Arse Fruit" or "Open Arse Fruit". In the play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare likened their shape to a person's bottom.

Taken fresh from the tree in early Autumn, the fruits are hard and sour to taste. They need to be bletted before they can be eaten raw or used for making sauces, jellies and marmalade. Bletting is simply allowing the fruit to mature and soften. You will know when the fruit is ripe and ready to eat (or cook with) when you can squeeze them and the flesh oozes out like a ready made apple sauce. Theodore Garrett published a recipe for Medlar Chees.

Medlars are ornamental, flowering trees with pretty blossom and good autumn colour. Our medlar was planted in 2011. It should be lightly winter pruned to keep an open framework, removing any crowded, diseased or dead branches. Mature trees do not respond well to hard pruning.