Thursday, March 15, 2012

Loquats Lovin'

Have you ever heard of them? Neither have I until they showed up in our backyard 2 weeks ago, now the kids are plucking them off like crazy and I'm google Loquat recipes. We even stop along our walk yesterday under a Loquat tree? bush? to cool down and eat some. They are sooooo juicy and really good. I must thank my friend for introducing these sweet treats that would have otherwise rotted away in the corner of our yard cause this Yankee wouldn't have know one if it hit me in the face.



Fun Loquat facts:

  • Loquat syrup is used in Chinese medicine for soothing the throat and is a popular ingredient for cough drops
  • The Loquat is easy to grow in subtropical to mild temperate climates where it is often grown as an ornamental tree, and second for its delicious fruit. 
  • The loquat is a large evergreen shrub or small tree with a rounded crown, short trunk and woolly new twigs. The tree can grow 20 to 30 ft. high
  • In California there are few pests that bother loquats.
  • Harvest time in California is from March to June
  • The loquat is comparable to the apple in many aspects, with a high sugar, acid and pectin content.






Loquat Jam 

Wash, remove seeds, and blossom ends from whole ripe fruit. Run through food chopper and measure pulp. Barely cover with cold water. Cook until tender and deep red.

Add 3/4 cup sugar to 1 cup of loquat pulp. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal with sterilized lids. It is best to cook small batches of no more than 5 cups of fruit pulp in one kettle.







Loquat Cobbler 

It's sooo yummy!
Pure heaven served warm topped
with vanilla bean ice cream.
 

Ingredients
Filling
  2 lbs loquats, seeded and quartered
  7 TBS Sugar
  1 TB All Purpose Flour
  1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
  1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon or Orange          Juice, fresh squeezed 
Topping
  3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  3 teaspoons sugar (reserved)
  1/2 cup Buttermilk well shaken
  3 TBS Cold unsalted butter cut into bits 

Make Filling 
Toss all filling ingredients together in a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate
and let stand until juicy, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F. 


Make Topping 
Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl.
Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in buttermilk with a fork just until combined (do not over mix).

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough over filling,
leaving spaces in between
to allow topping to expand.
Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.
Bake cobbler in middle of oven until fruit is tender
and topping is golden, about 30 minutes.
Cool slightly, about 15 minutes, and serve warm. 








Loquat Sauce for Ice Cream 
Combine 2 cups juice from blanched loquats with 2 cups sugar. (see Blanching above) Bring to boil, cook over medium heat until syrup spins a 2-inch thread when dropped from a spoon (230 degrees to 234 degrees Farenheit on candy thermometer), about 20 minutes. Cool completely. Add 2 cups peeled, halved, seeded loquats. Chill, then serve over ice cream. Makes about 3 cups sauce.



recipes via HERE




 

Who knew there were so many different kinds.Wonder which ones we have? 

I'll guess either Big Jim or the Victory.

 

 

Orange-fleshed Varieties

Big Jim
Originated in San Diego, Calif. by Jim Neitzel. Large, roundish to oblong fruit, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Skin pale orange-yellow, medium-thick, easy to peel. Flesh orange-yellow, very sweet but with some acidity, of excellent flavor. Ripens midseason, March to April. Tree vigorous, upright, highly productive.
Early Red
Originated by C. P. Taft in 1909. Medium-large, pear-shaped fruit, borne in compact clusters. Skin orange-red with white dots, tough, acid. Flesh orange very juicy, sweet, of fair to excellent flavor. Seeds usually 2 or 3. Ripens very early, late January or early February in California.
Gold Nugget (Thales, Placentia)
Large, round to oblong-obovate fruit. Skin yellow-orange to orange, not thick, tender. Flesh orange-colored, juicy, firm and meaty. Flavor sweet, somewhat reminiscent of apricot, quality good. Seeds 4 or 5, the seed cavity not large. Ripens late. Fruits borne only a few to a cluster, keep and ship well. Tree vigorous, upright, self-fertile.
Mogi
Selected from numerous seedlings planted at Mogi, Japan. Small, elliptical fruit, weight 40-50 grams. Skin light yellow. Flesh relatively sweet. Ripens in early spring. Tree cold-sensitive, self-fertile. Constitutes 60% of the Japanese crop of loquats.
Mrs. Cooksey
New Zealand cultivar. Large fruit, up to 1-1/2 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Yellow flesh of very good flavor.
Strawberry
Medium-sized fruit with yellow flesh. Named for the strawberry-like flavor detected by some tasters.
Tanaka
Named after Dr. Yoshio Tanaka. Very large fruit, usually obovoid, weight 2 to 3 ounces. Skin orange-yellow, attractive. Flesh firm, rich orange, aromatic, slightly acidic to sweet, of excellent flavor. Seeds 2 to 4. Ripens very late, the beginning of May in California. Keeps unusually long, if left for a week it wrinkles and dries but does not rot. Tree vigorous and productive.
Wolfe
Originated in Homestead, Florida by Carl W. Campbell. Fruit obovoid to slightly pyriform. Skin yellow, relatively thick. Flesh juicy, firm, flavor excellent. Seeds usually 1 to 3. Ripens in winter and early spring, several days later than Advance. Suitable for all purposes, but excellent for cooking. Tree to 25 feet tall. Blooms during fall and early winter.

White-fleshed Varieties

Advance
Medium to large, pear-shaped to eliptic-round fruit, deep yellow in color, borne in large, compact clusters. Skin downy, thick and tough. Flesh whitish, translucent, melting and very juicy. Flavor subacid, very pleasant, quality good. Ripens in midseason. Seeds commonly 4 or 5, the seed cavity not large. Tree is a natural dwarf, height 5 feet. Highly resistant to fire blight. Self-infertile, pollinate with Gold Nugget.
Benlehr
Originated as a seedling on the property of Charles E. Benlehr of Encinitas, Calif. Medium-sized oval to oblong fruit, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 inches long. Skin thin, peels very well. Flesh white and juicy, flavor sweet, quality excellent. Seeds 3 or 4.
Champagne
Fruit medium to large, oval to pyriform. Fruit cluster large, loose. Skin deep yellow in color with a grayish bloom, thick, tough, somewhat astringent. Flesh whitish, translucent, melting and very juicy. Flavor mildly subacid, sprightly and pleasant, quality very good. Ripens late. Seeds 3 or 4, seed cavity not large. Perishable, good for preserving. Tree self-infertile, prolific.
Herd's Mammoth
Fruit large, long and slightly tapering at the stem end. Flesh yellow orange with white to cream-colored flesh, good quality. Ripens earlier than Victory. Subject to black spot.
Victory (Chatsworth Victory)
Large, oval fruit. Skin yellow to orange, becoming amber on the side exposed to the sun. Flesh white to cream-colored, juicy and sweet. Ripens in midseason to occasionally early. The most popular cultivar in Western Australia.
Vista White
Small to medium-sized, roundish fruit with blunt calyx end. Skin light yellow. Flesh pure white, very high in sugar content. Ripens 1 to 3 weeks later than Gold Nugget. Excellent for dessert.

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