Medlar and Quince Jelly, Quince Curd and Garibaldi Biscuits
When Danny brought medlars for the first time I was absolutely flabbergasted. I had no idea what they look like, but strangely I guessed what they were. Medlars are the most intriguing looking fruits. Although not quite an apple, the apple looking fruits are very hard and acidic, and hence they require bletting before ready to be eaten or used as an ingredient. The fruits become edible after being softened or bletted by frost, or left to soften naturally. Bletting means that the fruit should be left to ripen beyond the ripening point, in common terms leave it to rot, and the flesh starts to decay and ferment.
Most of the time medlars are mixed with apples to be turned into wine or jellies. As we had a large quantity of quinces donated to us I thought I’d give it a go mixing the two, and actually, the result is perfect. When you cook quinces for a long period of time the syrup turns pink which gives this jelly an attractive colour.
The theme of the quinces continue by turning more quinces into a curd, the buttery curd compliments the sweetness of the jelly and the acidity of the crème fraîche balances the dish.
This garibaldi recipe has been with me for many years. It can be fairly temperamental and behaves best during the winter. If the dough gets a bit warm it sticks and makes a bit of a mess. My top tip is to wrap it into sausages and let it chill well for a minimum of 6 hours. Then, take it from the fridge when you’re ready, cut it into disks and bake immediately. Do not hesitate or leave it to come to room temperature, it might just misbehave. I know I had a few “sticky” moments in the past. If you have baked a few too many of these delicious biscuits keep the baked biscuits in an air tight container, or alternatively, bake what you need and keep the remaining dough in the freezer. Defrost the dough in the fridge overnight and bake as per the recipe below. I sprinkle the warm baked biscuits with caster sugar to give it even more of a homemade look.
Medlar and Quince Jelly
- 1kg quinces
- 1kg medlars
- Juice of one lemon
- Caster sugar (measure the sugar after the juice is made 7 parts of sugar to 10 parts of fruit liquid)
Wash and peel the quinces, cut them into smaller pieces. Wash and chop the very ripe medlars into quarters, place the quinces and medlars in a saucepan with the juice of one lemon and cover the fruit with cold water.
Bring the fruit to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Pass the cooking liquid through a jelly bag and leave to hang overnight.
Measure 10 parts of the cooking liquid with 7 parts of caster sugar, melt the sugar and bring the liquid to a rapid simmer. Skim the impurities from the surface and cook the jelly to 107°C.
Let the jelly cool slightly and then pour the jelly into chosen moulds and leave to set. This normally takes about 12 hours.
- 10 large quinces + 50g sugar
- 65g lemon juice
- 125g caster sugar
- 4 whole eggs
- 75g cold unsalted butter, cut in to small pieces
Pre-heat the oven to 110°C. Peel the quinces; place them in a vacuum bag with the 50g of sugar and seal on hard vacuum. Place them in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes, cool.
Cut the soft quince flesh into smaller pieces and place it in a Thermomix bowl with the remaining sugar and blend until smooth. Add the eggs and lemon juice, set the timer for 12 minutes at 90°C, speed 4. Once the time is done turn the speed dial to 10 and blend for 1 minute, adding the cold butter pieces at a time.
Transfer the curd to a container to cool.
Crème Fraiche Espma
- 300g crème fraiche
- 100g double cream
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 leaves of gelatine, soaked
Soak the gelatine in cold water until completely soft, squeeze to remove the excess water.
Place the cream, soaked gelatine and caster sugar in a metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water, stir until the sugar and soaked gelatine dissolve. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the crème fraiche and mix.
Pour the mixture into a clean 1Liter cream gun, secure the lid and charge the cream gun with two gas charges. Shake vigorously and place the cream gun in the fridge to chill.
It will need about 2 hours to chill completely.
When you are ready to use the espuma shake the cream gun vigorously to loosen the mixture.
- 150g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150g icing sugar
- 200g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 200g currants
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until creamed.
Sift the flour over the creamed butter mixture and add the currants, mix it all together but do not over work the mixture.
Spoon the mixture onto clingfilm and roll it up in cylindrical shapes or sausages. Refrigerate for 6 hours.
Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut the biscuits 1 cm thick slices, remove the clingfilm and space them evenly on the baking tray. Bake the biscuits in the pre-heated oven for 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. As soon as you remove them from the oven sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to cool completely.
Pipe the quince curd onto the jelly, followed by a squirt of the crème fraiche foam. Garnish with a light sprinkle of sumac or freeze dried raspberries for a dash of colour. Serve immediately with a couple of the garibaldi biscuits.
Serves 6 -8