It’s the season for loquats! If you’ve never heard of a loquat it’s a little yellow fruit that grows on trees that are indigenous to Southeast China. They have two large brown pits in them and they taste like a cross between an apricot and a guava. They are so good! They also thrive in California.
I first tasted loquats in Vista, CA when my parents bought a piece of land on top of a hill. The driveway had a loquat tree growing on it and I tried one and I was hooked. Over the years, I have pillaged various trees in Southern California and Northern California. From what I have read, they aren’t supposed to grow in Northern California. Go figure, neither are avocados but we had one of those trees.
Well, back to my original story.
My wife and I have a loquat tree in my front yard and every year I have attempted to make jam out of the fruit. I have created sauces that had various degrees of thickness but never a jam, until this year. This year, I used my know how from last year’s vast fruit canning and jam making. I cooked it longer and I added a little more pectin. I came out so thick this year! Success!!!
As with every year, I make one batch so that the non-spice eaters will not be irritated but I make one batch with spice, flavor and color that adds to the fruit experience and burns you a little on the way in and the way out. What fun is spice unless it gets you a little bit? I always make sure the spicy one has super flavor. That’s a must.
I found a jar of caramel from last year where we took the reduction of the peels along with some overflow of juice along with sugar cooked down to form a caramel. It’s not sweet but it works for an addition to something else. As confusing as it might sound, it’s the nectar that made this year’s jam a little richer. Yes, the caramel was good. I tasted it to make sure.
So, when the Jr Women’s Club have their jam competition, I’m ready. I have a jar of peach jam, a jar of apricot jam and a jar of loquat jam. I’m hoping to win all the classes. I entered the loquat last year but it was a thickened sauce that had great flavor but no body.
I shared a jar with a lady at my church that is a good critic. I want to see what she has to say about it.
There are still more loquats on the tree so tomorrow I’m going to get a ladder and go after more. I will continue on with my jam experimentation.
I’ll post a recipe as best as I can remember. The peripherals with the sugar, fruit and pectin will be the same but the additions of spice will be hard to judge since I just pour and taste to get it the way I want. I’ll try my best.
Y’all have a great day and bon appetite!