It's medlar season. Which means Mother Moo Creamery in Sierra Madre is making medlar ice cream again -- a rare ice cream from a rare fruit, available for a limited time.
The medlar's a special fruit, related to apples and pears, but most closely to hawthorns. It's hard, dry and astringent when immature, but after a ripening process (called bletting) its pulp turns custardy and tastes like sweet-tart winy apple butter -- with a little cinnamon, even.
Mother Moo owner Karen Klemens this year got her hands on some directly from Ruff House Ranch -- late this season because there wasn't a frost on the ranch until early December.
"I received 25 pounds," Klemens said. "Half went into medlar jelly, the other half went into ice cream. This year, I made the ice cream using a different method to give us a richer, fresher-tasting, more medlar-like flavor.