The Cottage Smallholder

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Can you identify this fruit?

unidentified fruit

Jelly making is on hold. I was working today and returned home to roast chicken with all the trimmings. As Danny stirred the gravy, I Googled for pictures of medlars. The few that I found didn’t look a bit like my “medlars”. I have only heard about medlars and seen some line drawings. The cross section of our fruit looks like a medlar. The outside does not.


We tasted the fruit and chilli combination when it was simmering yesterday, without any ill effects (except that it tasted bitter and rather nasty). We both agreed that it might be wise to identify the fruit before I made the jelly. Richard Mabey (Food for Free) gave me no clues. Nor did Google. I am hoping that someone will be able to identify the fruit and set my mind at rest.

The more I look at them the more I think that they are crab apples, I have discovered that they can be this elongated shape. Most were about 1.5 inches/4 cm long. Perhaps you can enlighten me?

My friend Anna gave me some chubby quinces from her tree in her garden Saffron Walden today. And as my fingers fly across the keyboard they are simmering on the stove. She bought the house in the Spring and wondered about the pretty tree. I identified the tree from its leaves as we have a baby quince growing in our garden. Saffron Walden is further south. Our quinces will be ready in a month or so. I will make quince jelly with Anna’s fruit and membrillo with ours.

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  1. Have just moved to the country and go foraging most afternoons, so far have made sloe jelly, rosehip and apple, quince, blackberry of course, blackcurrant jelly (and vodka), elderberry and tomato and herb – all very tasty. Can’t wait to get back to my neighbours tree now I know it is crab apple – or for next spring when things like elderflower are in fruit. Also sell same from my back door!

  2. Hello,

    I was wondering if anyone could identifymy tree. I believe it is a crab apple, planted just before we purchased this house 12 years ago. It had 3-5 years of growth I would estimate. Now the limbs are long and bent with the weight of these little green fruits. The tree has light pink flowers in the spring, they remind me of a Dogwood tree. I would appriciate knowing these are definatly crab apples…we would love to make jellies! Thank you!

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