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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. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Minamoo,

    The crab apple leather sounds interesting and tasty. Thanks so much for leaving the recipe.

  2. Another thing you could try making with the crabapples is crabapple leather. Once you have let the juice drip out of the jelly bag for making jelly with, push the rest of the stuff through a fine sieve to extract the applesauce. Mix in enough sugar to sweeten then spread quite thickly onto a clingfilm-covered baking sheet and dry either in the oven for 6 or so hours on a very low heat with the door open or in any warm, dry place. Once dry, peel off the clingfilm and cut into strips. They store well in an airtight glass jar but I haven’t been very successful with storing it as it tends to be gone before it’s even finished completely drying!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mildred,

    Thanks for dropping by. When I clicked onto your guinea pig ˜hosted™ site our Min Pin dogs went crazy.

    Your I reckon that your fruit are crabs. Until a month ago I had only found round crabs. Perhaps someone out there can help? If you email me a picture through the contact us page, I can put it on the site for identification.

  4. Hi, thanks for all this very helpful information, it is wonderful to read that other people are appreciating the joys of home made jams/jellies!! I made some crab apple jelly today with fruit like the photo above from a neighbour – wonderful! My query, if anyone can help, is about a tree in the local playing field. They are similar to the photo at the top of the page but smaller, only about 1cm, and round. They are red. The inside looks the same too. They seem to be growing in clusters like elderberries grow – not at all like the crab apples on my friend’s tree! At present only a few have turned red, the rest are still green. I wonder if they are likely to ripen now the days are drawing in. I would be very grateful for any help identifying them please 🙂

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate(uk)

    Sage and crabapple jelly sounds wonderful. I must give it a go. Thanks.

  6. If you have plenty, put some herbs in the jelly- sage and crabapple jelly is just fab with pork in the winter!If you come across any fruits on Japonica bushes they make stupendously good jelly- tart and perfumed.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Lesley,

    I went back and gathered more fruit yesterday for crabapple jelly. Can’t wait to taste the results.

  8. what a coincidence – I have the same tree in my garden and made jelly yesterday. It is bloody delicious. I make it with a lemon and a pinch of cinnamon. Tried it for breakfast on toast – it was to die for. Thanks for telling me what it is!

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Thanks Kate. I’m going back for some more at the weekend.

  10. Yes,John Downie, wonderful jelly- copious fruiter too!

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