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Need ideas for LOQUAT glut!

  • c

The extra rain this year has blessed my in-laws w/ an incredible glut of loquats on their tree right now. They gave me some (pictured below) and have 20x that amount still clinging to the tree. Whatever the birds and other critters don't get to are mine for the taking.

Loquats are about half the size of an apricot and I've read are indigenous to China and quite popular in Japan. I peel the fuzzy skin and eat the flesh, which surrounds a smooth mahogany-colored pit. For me, it tastes like a cross btwn. an apricot and lychee. Some are tarter, some are sweeter.

Aside from eating them straight, any ideas or recipes for their use? I'm already thinking jam and chutney. Thinking of using them in a pie or clafoutis w/ cherries. Are these used in any Asian desserts? This fruit is new to me so any ideas are appreciated. Thanks!

Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

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  1. Ah, loquats! They make excellent chutney and jam. It's fiddly, but worth it, to make a pie with them - use a good pinch of ginger. I love loquat upside down cake too - again with ginger.

    1. Loquats (nispero) are also popular here in Spain. Here they are macerated and put in sangria and fruit salad and just eaten plain. I've also seen a sort of meringue and poached loquat layered dessert (kind of like a parfait, in a glass), though I've never tried it.

      I don't have the cookbook with me here, but I seem to remember that one of the Chez Panisse cookbooks had a loquat sauce that could be used as a glaze for roasted meat. I never thought of chutney--that's a good idea.

      1. I think the LA Times (or OC Register) just did a whole spread about loquats, with all kinds of recipes, etc. (Sorry I don't have a link.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Funwithfood

          Thanks for the heads up! The OC Register's article was very helpful. Here's a link...

          Link: http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/05...

        2. I had a loquat liqueur once. I wonder if steeping a bunch in someting neutral like vodka for awhile and adding sugar would produce it. It was quite tasty. I have done that sort of thing with cranberries and made my own Boggs that was good.

          1. whoa, your picture of loquats looks sooooo good!!
            I didn't even know loquats grew on this side of the pacific.

            I know you're looking for recipes but...I wonder if your in-laws may be interested in selling some? since I see you post at the SF board, I am hoping you're not too far from the southy bay :) pls email offline at trillian913atyahoodotcom if you may be interested at all

            tia
            ---------------------------------
            ps. I've had good loquat syrup before, but for me the delicate flavor is best left uncooked. good luck on finding new recipes!

            1. r
              RWCFoodie (Karen)

              I wish I had known you had a Loquat glut when we were in Boulder Creek last week! I would have been in Santa Cruz in a Flash! I've loved these golden delights since I was a child and it drives me nuts to see trees covered with ripe fruit just begging me to pick a bushel or two! Apparently many owners of these trees either don't like them or I don't know what. If you still have lots and would consider sharing, email me :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: RWCFoodie (Karen)

                Karen & Trill, thanks for kindly offering to take some loquats off my hands :-)

                I'm sorry to say that our tree's fruits seem to be claimed for now. My in-laws are giving some to friends and neighbors, but my MIL also wants to try some recipes since hounds were so helpful! I thought the rain this year had helped the tree, but in hearing about how it has been destructive to cherry and apricot crops this year, makes me think we got lucky. Their Meyer lemon tree has been amazing this year, but we'll see about the two apricot trees. IIRC, their's peak around July or even early August.

                Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and to the poster who emailed me the article from the San Antonio Express! Hope to share the loquat wealth via my reports on what I make. Need to decide what to make soon since it's true what they say about their quick perishability (if that's a word).

              2. Loquats (nísperos) are wildly popular here in Mexico, too. They grow quite well here in the Central Highlands. A friend has a tree, but her employees usually have it stripped before I can get any of the fruit. We do see it for sale in some markets, but it's usually something that's home grown and home eaten.

                Goodness, they are so so SO delicious.

                1. They grow here in Florida as well. Very prolific fruit producers. NOT to be confused with kumquats which are also a FL specialty

                  1. saw them on sale for the first time ever yesterday -- 5 euros a kilo, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.50 a pound (head math, not technically accurate)

                    When I had a tree, I made jam with a recipe using plums -- and it turned out great (then I moved and lost the source of the fruit!)

                    Clafoutis would be good, too.