Loquats. I'm hearing most of you go "huh" right now and I must admit, until I inherited a tree with the shack, I didn't know about them either. They are a fruit that looks (and tastes) a bit like a pear crossed with an apricot and yet it also has an almost citrus flavour. They have very little flesh and mainly consist of HUGE pips but the flesh is super tasty. My little fella, Kai is a big fan.
After a fair bit of online research and a bit of trial and error, I think I'm starting to get the hang of what is the best way to deal with these delish little treats. It seems a shame to waste them so I picked two buckets worth and this is what I've done with them:
Firstly, I've worked out it is better to get rid of the pips and the ends of each fruit before stewing them until they are soft.
I drain the juice through some muslin and then I push the pulp through a sieve to separate the tasty flesh from the skins.
Then the juice can be boiled into jelly (like jam but without the flesh) and the strained pulp I cooked until it was thick and firm so I could make Loquat paste (like quince paste that you can have with soft cheese etc)
There was quite a lot of flesh left in with the skins that was left over after sieving the pulp so I blended it all up and added half of it to a kilo of stewed apples to make a apple/loquat crumble. The other half I make a "banana cake" but instead of banana, I put in the blended loquat left overs. It was delish!
So now I have seven jars of loquat jelly, a crumble, lots of loquat paste for my picnics and a cake to keep the kids happy (all from raiding the weird fruit tree in my backyard). It cost $3 for a kilo of sugar, I already had all the other ingredients in the cupboard.
So if you have a fruit tree in your back yard, whether loquat or not. Even if the neighbour has one and you know they don't use the fruit, I'd recommend getting your hands on it and spending a day making glorious treats, I think it's well worth it.
If any of you want me to post the recipes I used, put a request in the comments and your wish will be my pleasure to grant!