When I got a text from a friend last week asking if I wanted Loquats to make jam with I said, “Yes. I love them. Thank you.” Then promptly went to Google to find out exactly what a Loquat was. To a girl who grew up in Kansas it sounded a little exotic. I had no idea what they looked like, tasted like or if I could use them to make a jam anyone would want to eat. So after discovering they were a distant relative of the apple, originally from southeastern China and armed with the few recipes I found online I felt prepared for a new culinary adventure.
The tree was full of the small fruit so up the ladder I went. The air smelled delicious and they were a beautiful orange color. There was more than enough fruit for me to try several different recipes. I easily picked 15 lbs of fruit and there was plenty left over for a second trip.
I combined a few recipes that I found and this is my version of Loquat Jam.
Weigh 5 lbs of Loquats, cut the blossom end off and remove the seeds.
Chop in a blender and add to the pot you want to use to cook your jam.
Add water so that it is just covering the chopped Loquats.
Add Ground Ginger, Ground Cinnamon and Ground Cloves to taste. (I was heavier with the Ginger and Cinnamon as the Cloves can be very strong)
Bring to a boil.
Once boiling reduce heat to low/simmer. Cook until fruit is tender. (It was about an hour for me).
Be sure to stir occasionally.
While the fruit is cooking place one or two small plates in the freezer for testing your jam setting.
After the fruit has cooked and the peel is as tender and soft as you like it add sugar to taste. The fruit is a little tart so it will depend on if your taste to how much sugar you want to add.
For 5 lbs of fruit I added 1.5 cups of sugar and I thought it was delicious. Just sweet enough to not lose the natural tartness of the Loquat.
I then cooked the mixture for another hour or so until the setting was reached.
You can test the setting by placing a small spoonful of jam onto a plate you have chilled in the freezer. If it does not spread it is ready to be preserved in sterilized jars. Process as you would any jams in a water bath.
One suggestion I saw was to use this jam as a topping over a cheesecake. I don’t need much of an excuse to eat cheesecake but now that I have discovered this wonderful fruit I will simply have to follow this suggestion.