Day: December 3, 2021

Medlar cake with Pavlova’s top

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What is a medlar?”-asks those who have never encountered this interesting fruit.

Well, medlar is an ancient fruit variety that has been known and grown since Roman times, but it actually
lived in its heyday in the Middle Ages, its special curiosity is that it ripens
in winter and is delicious when it has already been snotted! Maybe that’s why
they had their medieval name “open ass” or “snotted ass” (I
said it would be an interesting fruit!), and in France it was called dog bottom or
“cul de chien” which is not an appetizing name.

Not only the name of the medlar is interesting, but also that in order to eat them, it is necessary to
“ripen”. Which pretty much means that they need to be softened first,
more accurately rotted. It is probably understandable why famous people such as
Shakespeare and G. Chaucer found this fruit so impressive? 

I think it’s because the very idea that the fruit rottens before it reaches its heyday has proved
fascinating to them. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s case, wilted fruit was figuratively
a symbol of prostitution or an epithet for people who were worn out at young age due
to alcohol and depravity.

Shakespeare also remembers it in several of his dramas, such as Timon of Athens, who lamented
about old age and felt so wilted as a medlar. Then in As You Like
It, but also in the Romeo and Juliet, the couples confess love under a
medlar tree. In
Spanish literature Cervantes: Don Quixoté also nibbles acorns and medlars with his servant Sancho Pansa.

 Medlar cake Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

– 400g medlar ripe

– 1/2 cup water

– 5 tablespoons caster sugar or refined sugar, plus 1/2 cup caster sugar or
superfine sugar

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste

– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

– 1/2 small lemon zest

-2 eggs, separated into protein and yolks

– 1-2 sheets of muffin dough

– 1 teaspoon vanilla paste extra

– maple syrup or honey for serving (optional)

– sprinkle with a pinch of salt 

There is one way to store medlar is to put them in a brown paper bag for 1-2
weeks. Caution, because some berries soften faster than others, so after 6 days
check that they have not become soft and pasty, then remove the ripe ones from
the bag and put them in the fridge. After that, check the naspole-medlar daily to make
sure they are not ripe. Store the steamed snacks in the fridge until they are
all ready. During the winter, leave them outside in a box to turn brown.

Step 1 – Peel and seed the medlar. In the middle there are seeds the size
of cherry seeds. Discard medlars that have hardened or been stained. When
you’re ready, it’s best to pass through a densely woven filter. I would add
that, by the way, this was the most time-consuming, pee-stamp work during the
baking season.

Put the medlar in a pot, pour in the water, flavor with 5 tablespoons of
sugar, spices and lemon zest, then cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
Add the egg yolks and cook for a few minutes at low temperatures. Cool.

Step 2 – Until the filling cools, bake the dough out of frozen muffin dough
(but it can also be made without pasta, served only with meringue and served in
cups on the naspola cream). Preheat the oven to 220C/440F. Knead the dough and
divide into four equal portions. When baking a cake comes a “small twist”,
because you need to put weight on them (raw rice or dried beans also work). Bake
for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes have passed, remove the baking weights. Spoon
the naspola-medlar filling into the half-baked pastas and bake for a further 15
minutes.

Step 3 – Remove the cakes from the oven and set
the temperature to 250C /482F. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl with a
whisk until stiff. Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar, then the vanilla, and
beat until the meringue is shiny and firm. Spoon the beaten foam on top of the
cakes. Bake for 5 more minutes. Serve with honey or maple syrup or poured with a
little-densed orange juice.