Based on a medieval recipe, This makes a delicate but distinctive accompaniment to cheese or game throughout the winter months.
As many medlars as you can get hold of, well bletted; quantity of sugar; allspice, ground
To blet the medlars:
Arrange on a large plate or tray, making sure they are not touching. Keep somewhere warm but out of the way (no need to be dark), possibly for a few weeks, until soft and squeezable.
To make the paste:
Roughly cut up the medlars and place in a bowl. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Place the bowl of medlars into the saucepan, as for a bain marie. Cook until the medlars are well softened and can be mashed. This may take a while and you may need to top up the water in the pan.
When they are as soft as you can get them, push the medlars through a fine, but strong sieve (or use a mouli if you have one). You may need to use the end of a rolling pin to help get all the pulp through the sieve. When you have pushed as much pulp through as possible, weigh it and mix with an equal quantity of sugar and ½ tsp ground allspice per 500 g of pulp.
Place the medlar, sugar and spice mix into a non-reactive pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly. Allow to bubble slowly until it has taken on a rich chocolate colour and is quite thick.
Lightly grease some small dishes or moulds and fill with paste. Allow to cool then chill. The paste should set. If it still seems a bit too wet then reduce further.