I've been meaning to try this for a few years but have never quite gotten round to it. The recipe is loosely based on my quince wine recipe, but with additional spices and some dried fruit to give it body, should the medlar flavour not quite be as mellow as expected.
2 kg (4.5 lb) medlars
enough boiling water to cover
half orange, including peel
A generous knob of root ginger (2" approx)
half a stick of cinnamon
600g (1.5 lb) caster sugar
250 g (.5lb) muscovado sugar
Desert wine yeast (I'm trying sherry)
2 tsps of pectolase
1. Pick over medlars discarding any loose matter around calyx.
2. Place fruit and spice in stainless steel pan and cover with enough boiling water to cover fruit. Bring to boil and then remove from heat. Leave fruit infusion to steep for a few hours.
3. Strain off liquid through a coarse sieve into another steel vessel. Add sugar and bring to boil. Leave to cool, until luke-warm.
4. Pour more boiling water over the fruit in the first pan, and bring to the boil again. This will be used to top up the volume in the demi-john as required.
5. Make up some sterilising fluid using campden tablets, and rinse a clean demi-john, bung, funnel, fine sieve and airlock in preparation for the cooled medlar infusion.
6. Pour infusion/sugar syrup mixture into the sterilised demi-john, using a finer sieve inside a large funnel to catch any smaller bits of fruit. Remove sieve, leaving funnel. Open yeast sachet and sprinkle about half into bottom of funnel, then do the same with pectolase. Then flush the powder through as you top up the demi-john to just over 3/4 full using spare medlar infusion (or orange juice if preferred). Swirl around a couple of times to make sure the yeast/pectolase is well mixed.
7. Rinse airlock/bung in campden solution again (I like to use campden solution in the airlock) then twist into neck of demi-john as firmly as you can.
8. Place overnight in bowl in sink, or unless you have some idea how vigorous the fermentation may be (it can vary quite a bit, but generally wines with high acid/tannin content seem to be the most likely to 'boil over').
9. Place in cool, dark place for a few weeks until fermentation has ceased, keeping airlock topped up. Once you are sure it has finished, it can be decanted into a clean demi-john and aged for a few more months before bottling.
Not sure what this will be like, having never tried it before. I used firm, un-bletted medlars as an experiment but would be better/safer to use fully-ripened ones. The infusion tasted quite light, spicy and pleasant, but with a highly tannic after taste, probably because the fruit wasn't ripe eonght. I think I'll leave the rest of the crop 'ripen' a bit more before making jelly or a further batch of wine. I'm hoping for something more akin to a sweet sherry-type wine, with a rich colour and flavour. Time will tell.