Loquat is a small, round fruit that is sometimes called ‘Chinese plum’ or ‘Japanese plum’. A lot of chefs and home cooks all around the world like to use the cute fruit in pies, salsa, and even liquors.
Due to the loquat’s high natural pectin content, this fruit is also perfect for making jellies and jams. And the best part is that you can prepare a tasty and healthy jam for your whole family to enjoy without spending a wagon of time on the cooking process.
How to Make Loquat Jam
The only ingredients that you’re going to need include:
- Sugar (you can use honey, but you’re going to need less of that for the recipe)
- Lemon juice
- Ground cardamon is used in this particular recipe as it balances out the flavor of the jam and makes it truly unique
Loquat jam is the kind of deliciousness that can be made without the addition of pectin. The fruit is naturally high in this component and you wouldn’t need to mix in any other ingredients to get the consistency just right.
You will also need a 6-quart Dutch oven, a hand-held immersion blender, and sterilized jam jars. A paring knife can be used to remove the fruit’s blossom end, peel the loquat, and pluck out the seeds.
Servings: you’ll get about two 16 oz jars of jam
Prep Time: around 45 minutes
Cooking Time: about 2 hours (together with the resting and cooling time)
Calories: 57 calories per tablespoon
Tips & Tricks
- When filling the jam jars, leave about a quarter of an inch of headspace – this will help create a vacuum seal.
- Don’t have cardamon? You can always go for vanilla bean or cinnamon with a pinch of Himalayan sea salt.
- Always leave the loquats to rest after you have covered them in sugar as during this time the fruits will be releasing their juices and the sugar will become more liquified.
- You would have to remove the skin if you prefer a smoother texture. A melon scoop can help you with the peeling.
- You might want to wear gloves as loquat seeds can make your fingers black.
- Save the seeds so that you can make delicious liquor afterward.
Where Did Loquats Originate?
The fruit’s homeland is southern China where it is still sold in clusters. Loquat is also quite common in Japan, but the Japanese prefer to place special paper bags around the fruit and, later on, sell them in boxes like candy. When it comes to the United States, loquats get imported here from Chile in late fall and early winter. This fruit is also grown in California and in the south coastal area.
What Does a Loquat Taste Like?
Loquats are, perhaps, the most mysterious member of the pome family (it includes the more famous pears and apples). The flavor of this fruit can be described as a blend of plum, cherry, and apricot. Loquats are sweet when ripe, but might sometimes have a hint of sourness. When it comes to loquat jam, a lot of home cooks find that it tastes a lot like apricot jam with a slight tartness.
Do Loquats Have Any Health Benefits?
Making a loquat jam is one of the easiest ways to incorporate this amazing fruit into your diet.
Loquats are packed with magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C and A.
Here are the most important health benefits of these fruits:
- Loquats contain antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and even cancer.
- The extract of the fruit’s leaf helps prevent and control diabetes.
- It has also been proven that loquats reduce inflammation. In China, for example, the leaves have been used for hundreds of years to treat asthma and bronchitis.
- Finally, loquats will make your immune system a lot stronger.
However, before consuming loquats, you have to make sure that you are not allergic to the fruit. Also, swallowing the seeds is not advised as they might cause mild food poisoning.
If you want to mix things up in the kitchen and you are looking for a new type of fruit to try out in your recipes, then a loquat might become your product of choice.
These Chinese plums are full of important nutrients and one of the easiest ways to make sure that you consume enough of this magical fruit is to make a tasty jam.