Growing up, my favorite thing to do in the summer was head out back in the early morning and stay outside till it was time for dinner. I had a magical world outside where I would play and pretend and I always had lots of company with my two dogs, five bunnies and fifteen chickens running around with me. During these summer time adventures, I used the resources available to me so I wouldn’t have to go back inside. I drank from the hose and I picked and ate all the wonderful fruits and veggies that my mom was growing. Two of my favorite things to munch on were the mulberries and loquats. Unfortunately, many years later the mulberry tree had to be cut down due to a disease, but large loquat tree still stands. You may ask, “what is a loquat?” Many people have never heard of this fruit and to tell you the truth I have never seen another tree anywhere else around here. The best way I can describe this fruit is that it is kind of like an apricot only smaller with big seeds and not so much meat. My dad thinks loquats are a useless food…”To much work for nothing” he says. And it is true, pretty much the whole thing is seed. But every year the tree is in full bloom with loquats and really you can only eat so many. This year, my mom suggested that I should take a bunch and see what I could come up with. I decided to make loquat jam with my harvest. After a whole afternoon of pitting, peeling and cooking, I came up with a really beautifully jam. It reminders me of an apricot jam only it is more … well…loquaty! It turns out to be really great on toast and icecream and everyone seemed to want a jar that I only ended up with two jars out of eight. For my jams, I use a traditional recipe although I always add extra pectin mostly because I like my jam a bit thicker than most recipes make. One change I would make is that next year I am going to add two cups less sugar. Loquats are really sweet to begin with so a little of this jam goes a long way sugar wise. If you can find a loquat tree, please try a fruit! You will be surprised I promise! –Charisse.
Loquat Jam What You Will Need 5 cups loquats 7 cups sugar 2 boxes of pectin Clean fruit and cut off both ends of the loquat. Remove seeds and skins is you like and cook in a large pot with a bit of water until the fruit breaks down. I used a potato masher to help out with this process. Add the pectin and stir to combine. Let it come to a rolling boil. Add sugar boil at a rolling boil for one minute. Thats it your ready to can it!