Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Medlar Tart with Toasted Meringue

This rustic, wholemeal medlar tart with a toasted meringue topping has a story to tell. From 10 kilos of medlars being left on my doorstep by a friend who didn't know what to do with them - to being stuck at home and eating it all myself. This tart is good!

Medlar tart on my kitchen table

This tart was created for a winter gathering of friends. I love using seasonal foods and I'd frozen the medlar puree just one month beforehand, after bletting the medlars.

It was one of those winters when covid-19 was lurking in the dark, cold corners of our lives. When party invites often included a negative lateral flow test on entry, or was assumed.

Mine was positive. The pie was made and I spent several days indoors, with the pie. They weren't unhappy days, I do love sharing food, though this tart is so good, good for you and not overly sweet, I rather enjoyed having it to myself!

Homemade Medlar Tart with Toasted meringue recipe

A comforting dessert using wholemeal flour, wild, fermented medlars and a melt in the mouth topping. It was inspired by these wonderful fruits and was based on a Medlar Tart recipe by Doves Farm, which is also the basis for my Spiced Orange and Medlar Pie.


  • 100g wholemeal flour (Doves Farm)
  • 100g plain flour (Doves Farm)
  • 100g cold butter, diced
  • 2 tbsp dark molasses sugar
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp orange juice


  • 300g medlar puree
  • 75g dark molasses sugar
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 125ml orange juice
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 egg, 1 egg yolk


  • 1 egg white (leftover from yolk in filling)
  • 50g soft brown or dark molasses sugar

In a large bowl mix together the flours and diced butter. Rub together with your fingertips to make a breadcrumb mixture or use a food processor to get the same effect. Mix in the sugar and spices, followed by the egg and orange juice and combine to make a dough. Put aside for half an hour. Alternatively, wrap or cover and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours and take out half an hour before using. You can also freeze the dough for up to 3 months and defrost before using.

Grease a 20cm/8 inch cake tin and preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/Gas 4. Roll out the dough to fit your cake tin, including up the sides. I found there is a generous amount of dough for this recipe, so made the sides quite high. Of course they fell inward when baked, but the pie can still work - in case this happens to you!

Place a piece of baking paper over the dough and cover with rice or baking beans (I normally use un-popped popping corn). Bake for 10 minutes. While baking, blend together the ingredients for the filling in medium bowl and put aside. After 10 minutes remove the tin from the oven, take out the beans/rice/corn and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Add the filling and topping

Take out of the oven, pour in the contents and bake for a further 35 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the meringue topping. In a spotlessly clean medium bowl, whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks. Add a tablespoon of sugar at a time, whisking until combined. Continue until all the sugar is absorbed and the mixtures forms stiff peaks.

Using two teaspoons, take small amounts of mixture at a time and place on the baked topping, Cover the whole of the topping with the meringue mixture and either grill or use a catering blow torch to toast until toasted. Enjoy within 2-3 days.

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