I think we can officially tell I’m the worst food blogger ever! It’ been an awfully long time since I share something in here, well actually I barely post nothing. One post since the birth of the blog it’s not very glorious, to say the least. This year has been quite busy, but if I’m honest to myself, it’s not the actual reason I post nothing in here. I think I’m too much of a perfectionist and sometimes I’m my worst enemy, but since the new year is coming very quickly, it’s a good time for taking good resolutions and get back to the kitchen.
Do you like to forage? I’m very new in this field but I always been passionate about plants, especially since my mom bought me a beautiful book about the use of plants in medicine form my thirteen birthday. But I never concretely applied my knowledge, and I rarely pick plants to cook with mostly because I’m too afraid to be wrong and to poisoned myself badly, I’m kind of a clumsy person. Until now, I foraged only the things I’m sure to be impossible to mistaken like mushrooms (porcini and some other variety I know well) chestnuts, blackberries, nettles, and medlar fruits: the subject of today’s recipe. I recently decided it was time to be more confident, and with the help of different books and inspired by amazing foragers on Instagram, I begin to dig into the foraging world.
I stumble upon that medlar tree during a walk in the forest, it seems like nobody cames to pick them: medlar is kind of a forgotten fruit, and it’s such a shame since it’s a very delicious one. They are not edible when picked you have to let them “bletted” during few weeks but it worth it, they taste a bit like apples, quince, and chestnuts a great mix of flavors right? You can cook it very simply in jam or jelly which I’m usually doing, but recently I have a real obsession about pound cake, so I bake a late fall one with medlar purée, roasted almonds, and cinnamon to add a bit of warmness and comfort to those grey days.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been so satisfied while cooking, there something very special about picking products in the wild to cook with afterward. I felt like some sort of adventurer or an ancient and powerful witch playing with plants in the forest, it was quite fun if you forget the part I stuck myself in a bramble bush. I’m going to keep digging in that new exciting field, and if my recipes are good enough I will share them in here. Thank you so much for reading those few lines, I hope those last days of the year will be beautiful for you.
Medlar fruits pound cake
For the medlar purée
- 200 g Bletted medlar fruits
- 50 ml water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
For the pound cake
- 4 big eggs
- 200 g Sugar
- 200 g melted butter
- 200 g flour
- 100 g medlar purée
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 30 g roughly chopped almonds
For the medlar purée
- Before to begin you have to be sure that the medlar fruits are bletted, they have to be brown and very soft to the touch. You will need about 100 to 150 g medlar purée for the pound cake recipe and about 200g of bletted medlar to make the purée. The final amount of purée is going to depend a lot of the seeds size in the fruit and the amount of flesh you're going to scrape out of the cooked fruits.
- Cut the fruit in half and remove the five seeds but keep the skin. Once you finished put the seedless medlar fruits in a pan with the water and let it cook medium heat until it comes to a boil (about 3/4 minutes) put the fire down and let it cook for about 2 more minutes. Put aside and let it cool down a bit.
- When the purée is cool down. Put one tablespoon of the cooked medlar in a thin strainer and with the help of a tablespoon scrape out the fruit flesh, repeat until all the mix is filtered. I love to add a bit of maple syrup to my medlar purée, but it's completely optional.
For the pound cake
- Preheat the oven at 180° Celsius
- Break the eggs and separate the yolk and the white. Put the yolk in a big bowl and the whites in a smaller one. Beat the yolk with the sugar and the cinnamon until you got a smooth mixture.
- Add the melted butter and beat until smooth. Add the flour little by little and beat until you got a beautiful and homogeneous mix. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs whites with a pinch of salt until it forms stiff peaks, add the whites very slowly to the preparation with a wooden spoon.
- To finish, add the medlar purée to the preparation and mix very gently just enough to incorporate the purée until it forms a sort of marble pattern.
- Put the dough in a buttered loaf tin (the preparation has to fill three-quarters of the pan). Sprinkle with the roughly chopped almonds. Bake for about 50 minutes. Check the baking by planting a the tip of a knife in the middle of the cake if it's came out dry, it's ready!
I was going to ask about maple syrup, but then I saw it. What is « bletted »? Does it mean Ripe, Over-ripe, or Rotten? Would brown sugar be an acceptable substitute for the sugar and cinnamon? Is there another name for « medlar »? I’ve never heard this name in the U.S.A.
I can’t wait for your answers and « get cookin ».
Thank you so much for your comment.
« Bletted » is beyond ripe and before rotten. It’s a fermentation process who softened the fruit flesh. When a medlar is bletted they are brown and soft to the touch (you can google « bletted medlar » to see exactly what it looks like). Light brown sugar is a totally acceptable substitute for that recipe, I never tried with brown sugar but I’m sure it will do the trick too. I would love to know if you try it!
I search a bit about medlar other names: In French, it’s called « nèfles » and « mispel » in Dutch. I also find a more uncommon name « mespilus », maybe it’s not a fruit very common in the US …
I hope I answered all your questions. Wish you a great day!
I saw farther down in the comments that medlar is called American persimmon in the U.S. I’ve heard of persimmon trees in my country, but I don’t know if they grow in my area. I will do some research on this.