Sunday, April 20, 2008

Loquat


This sweet little fruit tree makes it's home in my front yard. When we first moved in I had to ask a neighbor what it was. The answer was a Loquat tree. I then had to ask what in the heck a loquat was.

The tree flowers in the fall, and puts out fruit in early spring. From what I understand, loquat vary in color and flavor. Mine have yellow skin and white flesh with one or two large seeds in the center. The flavor is sort of peach, sort of cherry. But not exactly. When fully ripe, they are extremely sweet. I almost prefer them a little unripe, when they are a bit tart.

Loquat are native to southeast China, have been cultivated in Japan for over 1000 years, and in the States are mostly grown in California and east-Texas/west-Louisiana. I think you can find them canned in some Asian markets, but I'm pretty sure the taste and texture will be very different. Around here, this seems to be a fruit that people either happen to have growing in their yard, or have never heard of.


The past few years, the birds have beat me to the loquat, and left me with only a handful to munch on. This year the birds lost out big time, because I picked them all the minute they seemed ripe. I don't usually have so much fresh fruit in the house, so it was fun to decide what to do with it. Tarts, crisps, cakes: all would have been good, but I was worried I still wouldn't use them all before they went bad. So in the end I decided to make loquat jam.

I kept fretting over how to go about making this, spending way too much time comparing recipes on the internet. In the end I just winged it, and it came out perfect. I made two batches; one with ginger and one without.

Loquat Jam

Loquat Jam

Halve loquat, removing seed and membrane. You can leave the skins on.

Blend in food processor to desired consistency. I like mine pretty chunky. Transfer to a large pot.

For each cup of puree add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and 1-2 tsp. minced crystallized ginger if desired. Add cold water just to cover.

Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened considerably.

Transfer to a clean jar and store in the fridge.

Quinoa Biscuits with Loquat Jam

I made these biscuits the same night and we consumed an alarming amount of them with lots of the jam. The lavender in these really goes well with the loquat.

Quinoa Lavender Biscuits

1 1/2 cup flour (I used spelt)
1/2 cup quinoa flakes*
2 tsp. lavender
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil or melted margarine
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. flax meal (optional)

Mix wet ingredients and flax. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir till just combined. Drop by spoonful onto oiled baking pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes or until biscuits are firm and slightly browned.

*I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes. Rolled oats would work as well. Or, you could just omit and add an extra 1/2 cup flour.



26 comments:

romina said...

This looks intriguing and delicious!

Kittee said...

holy crap! i've seen these trees here in nola, but never knew what they were--thanks for the info. what a haul, i'm jealous.

xo
kittee

Jenny Wren said...

kittee--i bet the fruit from half those trees doesn't even get eaten...you should run around and do a little sampling...

lauren said...

oh, excellent! one of these in my yard, and i had no clue how to even start figuring out what it is!

delicious looking jam, can't wait to try it.

Kate said...

Oh my god it's real! I had these when I was nine in the back yard of my mom's friend in California, and they were the only fruit I liked at the time. I never forgot them, but I live on the East Coast (and now in Dublin) so no one had ever heard of them. I was starting to think I'd imagined them! Amazing!

Syd said...

I am so glad I found this post. Just last night I had this fruit at a Chinese restaurant, but had no idea what it was. Delicious!!

Thanks for the info.

Kiss or Kill said...

These are delicous, our old land ladies used to give us these and persimons, both delicous. You have now made me hungry. Thanks alot...

pleasantly plump vegan said...

so cool!

sarchan said...

I have some of those quinoa flakes needing to be used--I like the idea of using them in biscuits. Those loquats (which I never heard of before) have amazingly beautiful insides. Your jam also looks very pretty.

Kat said...

my parents have TONS of these trees in their back yard in san antonio - i would spend most spring/summer afternoons gorging on loquats.... they're some of my favorite fruits, and the jam is even better.

thanks for the fantastic post!! i'm glad others enjoy them too!

Rural Vegan said...

I've never eaten a loquat before, but your jam looks absolutely fabulous. I'm jealous that you have such a resource growing in your front yard!

Jenny Wren said...

Lauren-I hope you get to make the jam. I was so pleased with how it turned out.

Kate-No, you're not imagining things!

Syd-You're welcome!

Maggie-I'm always hungry, so join the club.

lori-thanks, maam!

sarchan-Maybe it was just my imagination, but the flakes made the biscuits extra tender.

kat-thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

rural-my fantasy is to have one of EVERY fruit and nut bearing tree in my yard someday!

trina said...

Wow! Loquat Jam!

Kiss or Kill said...

I would like to say again how delicious these look,,,everything-the jam, the biscuits, the fruit itself. Yum....alas I will have to m ake do with Ben and Jerrys Peanut butter cup ice cream, I'll suffer through it..

jj said...

Very interesting - never heard of loquat (sp?) before. The jam you made out of it looks marvelous!

DJ said...

Your photos are beautiful - and that jam looks delish!!

bazu said...

Loquat- so THAT's what those are! They used to be my favorite fruit when I lived in CA and could pick them off trees in the neighborhood, but have never seen them in stores. It makes me sad that so many go uneaten!

Mihl said...

I've seen this fruits in our health food store. I've always wondered where thy are from and what to to with them. Thank you for the explanation and the recipes!

Rachael said...

oh, i wish we could get fresh loquats here, but they very rarely show up around here. I have fond memories of a childhood trip to Israel where I ate tons of them right off the trees growing where we were staying. the jam looks and sounds wonderful!

Vegan On Stage said...

Hey! im new to our blog, I wanted to tell you that you photograph beautifully!!!

Those Biscuts look to DIE FOR!!! I will definately be trying them in the near future!!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow, I have never heard of Loquat, but it sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

I've read on a few blogs by house rabbit owners in Japan that their rabbits like to chew on loquat ("biwa" in Japanese) leaves.

Maddy said...

Newbie visiting from 'your vegan mom'

Certainly sounds delicious. Now I'll just have to nip over to the garden centre, identify plant, buy plant, bring plant home, prepare ground, plant plant and wait.....probably quite a long time.
Best wishes

Joanna said...

that's a pretty cool fruit. i love the name of your blog btw. my dad always says that i eat too much rabbit food haha

kittee said...

jenny wren,
i miss you.

xo
kittee

erinwyso said...

Loquat is the name of one of my favorite bands! What a beautiful fruit too!