I wish all of you could taste a freshly picked juicy loquat. It’s not a kumquat or even a distant relation… I posted a pic of our loquat tree on my Facebook page and was really surprised to learn how many have never tasted this juicy sweet fruit.
Thin velvety skin embraces yellowy orange flesh that tastes like a cross between an apricot and a peach.
If you have a chance to try them, just remember, the seeds are extremely toxic! They contain many toxic alkaloids like cyanogen-glycosides.
Loquats grow all over my SoCal neighborhood — everyone seems to have at least one or two trees and they’re very prolific producers — but no one knows what to do with them, which is really too bad because they’re full of nutrition.
- Low in calorie,, rich in insoluble dietary fiber; pectin.
- Excellent source of vitamins A and C, rich in potassium and some B-complex vitamins such as folates, vitamin B-6, and niacin.
Plus, loquat jam is delicious.
A couple days ago, I made a batch of loquat jam with this simple recipe:
In a large pot, add…
Twelve cups seeded loquats.
Leave the skins on but cut off the blossom end.
Five to six cups of sugar.
I used white sugar, but I’m sure you could play around with the amounts and use agave nectar or honey.
Two tablespoons cinnamon. Loquats are slightly bland and really respond well to spices. Pour over enough water to cover the fruit.
Cover with a lid, quickly bring to a boil, and allow to boil for five minutes.
Turn down the flame to simmer, uncover, and cook for a couple of hours, stirring with a wooden spoon so it doesn’t burn.
After a couple hours or so, take an immersion blender pureed the fruit (the skins disappear), and continued to cook for another hour.
After tasting it, I added a bit more cinnamon and three tablespoons of lemon juice which really helped the flavors develop.
I wanted to turn it more apple butter-like and thick, so I carefully poured it into a crockpot and let it cook on low all night.
In the morning, wash canning jars and lids with hot soapy water, rinse with hot water. Fill jars with hot jam and put the lids on, but don’t tighten too much. As the jam cools, you’ll hear popping sounds which means the lids are sealing. When the jars are cool to touch, tighten the lids a bit more and refrigerate.
Just started the cooking process. It was a real surprise to watch the cooked loquats turn a deep rich burgundy.
Use an immersion blender to puree.
Time to sleep in the crockpot all night and get nice and thick.
I’m really happy with the results. It looks a lot like apple butter.
Jars and jars of jam! I’m refrigerating them; didn’t feel like going through the hot bath canning process.
More ways to preserve the bountiful abundance of loquats:
- I’m freezing some fruit whole to use in smoothies.
- Drying the leaves to make loquat tea.
- Loquat salsa, like mango salsa.
- Loquat cobbler. YUM.
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