Karen Klemens spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday turning 10 pounds of medlars into 1-1/2 gallons of ice cream. Klemens is the owner of Mother Moo Creamery, the 3-month-old ice cream shop in Sierra Madre. And the medlars are from Craig Ruggless of Winnetka Farms, whose medlars also made a cameo appearance last year at the Santa Monica Farmers Market -- a rare fruit that fruit expert David Karp describes as "a legendary historic fruit with the flavor and texture of spicy applesauce."
"Last year I made medlar jelly," says Klemens, a master preserver who also sells her jams under the label Mothercluck. "That’s when I first got wind that Winnetka Farms had medlars for sale.... And now that I have my shop I really wanted to make medlar ice cream."
The ice cream is made from a puree of simmered medlars ("it was a beautiful pulp," Klemens notes), cream, sugar, eggs and a little vanilla. "The flavor of the medlars tastes a little bit like autumn leaves with hints of cloves and cinnamon.... It’s a really different taste, unusual, not sweet. I am falling in love with it."
Medlar ice cream will be available at Mother Moo on Thursday for $4 a scoop. Other Mother Moo flavors include: rum raisin, salty chocolate, Madagascar vanilla, Sichuan pepper and orange peel, cinnamon coffee, corn flakes and cream, and licorice. All served on house-made waffle cones.
17 Kersting Court, Sierra Madre, (626) 355-9650, www.mothermoo.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: David Karp