How Andrew got into producing Medlars and why he chose this particular product
Andrew is the third generation of Tann growing fruit at Crapes Fruit Farm, a 15 acre picturesque family-run orchard near Colchester. Crapes Fruit Farm is dedicated to a variety of apples, as well as other seasonal fruits such as medlars, plums and cherries, grown with a minimum of chemicals, and an expert fruit growing knowledge passed down through generations. Andrew has fond memories of pots of Medlar jelly and cheese made from the fruit of the trees in his Great uncle’s garden. His father, John, planted a row of Medlar trees primarily to be used as a windbreak, and they have been present on the farm ever since. Having previously supplied jam manufacturers, he now focuses predominantly on providing his fruit directly to private consumers rather than for wholesale trade. Andrew believe respecting the land he grows on is integral to the quality of fruit he produces. The orchards are home to a variety of wildlife from wrens and woodpeckers to deer and rabbits, as well as other plant life. Respecting this beautiful landscape, and the natural environment in which his fruit grow means that his produce have a “unique Crapes flavour”.
The challenges that Andrew is facing producing Medlars
The biggest challenge for Andrew is adapting to the vagueries of the weather.
Products that Andrew is offering
Crapes Fruit Farm primarily grows a variety of apples but he also grows Medlars, as well as plums, quince and cherries. For more information on how to buy his fruit and seasonality please visit the website or ring the farm.
Andrew’s favourite Medlar recipe
Andrew kindly provided us with a recipe for Medlar jelly, the kind he used to eat at his Great uncles house:
“Basically, late in November 1.5 kg of the fruits can be roughly chopped, immersed and simmered in water until they are soft. For the jelly, simply strain through a muslin cloth and add the juice of, say, 4 lemons to 2 litres of juice, and some apple pectin, about an eighth of the total volume to which 1.5 kg sugar is added. Then boil up and jar once the ‘dripping’ consistency looks right on your wooden spoon edge. “
The jelly is very rich so small pots are appropriate.
Address: Rectory Road, Aldham, Colchester, Essex CO6 3RR
Phone: 01206 212 375