September 12, 2012

Loquat Jam

My loquat tree is fruiting well this year and the fruit is starting to ripen up. (Fruit is ripe when it turns orange and is sweet to taste.) I don't normally do much with this fruit as it has an unusual taste that is nice but can become somewhat cloying if you eat too many, so the birds and my friends have got most of the harvest in years gone by. This year I have decided to make some loquat jam, so I went searching for a good jam recipe and found this one. It sounds interesting, with enough lemon juice to help balance the sweetness of the loquats and butter. I have never used butter in jam making before but I will try it and see how it works out.

Anyway, I thought I would share this recipe here, which I found at Wish me luck, if it works out well (or poorly) I will let you know later.
*Loquats are a problematic fruit. You need to pick them and then make them into jam immediately. They have absolutely no shelf life off of the tree. They will literally rot overnight, even in the refrigerator.

Loquat Jam

  • 6 cups loquats, pitted and skinned
  • 7 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 package Sure Jell/ Jam setter/ Fruit pectin

  • Sterilize your jars and lids. Any other implements (spoons, funnels) should also be dropped in boiling water before they come in contact with the fruit. As soon as you cut the fruit, place it in a large bowl with the lemon juice so that the fruit does not discolor. Once you have all of the fruit prepared, toss the fruit with the pectin and put it in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once it is at a rolling boil take it off of the heat and stir in the sugar.

    Toss the sliced loquats in the lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning

    Put it back on the heat and bring back to a boil. Let it boil for 1 minute. Add the butter. Stir to blend. Skim the top of any bubbles/scum. Ladle the jam into already sterilized jars. Don’t ladle past the rim, stop right below the beginning of the lip of the jar. Try not to get jam on the rim. If you do, use a clean cloth and wipe the rim before you put on the lid.
    Screw on the tops and the lids tightly. Invert immediately. Leave inverted for about 1 hour and then flip over. Let the jam cool before you move the jars. The jars should ping as they cool. If they do not ping the jar has not sealed. Refrigerate this jam and use in the near term.

    [ I made a sample batch following this recipe with one minor alteration. I left my jam to simmer for around 30 minutes as it improves the storage life of most jams. I ended up with a sweet, dark pink jam that has set very well and I'm sure will keep well in the larder. This test batch is a little too sweet for my tastes and I think that's because I used equal quantities of fruit and sugar by volume, when it should probably be equal quantities by weight. There is quite a lot of work involved in peeling and cutting the fruit and it does bruise very easily. Compared to other fruits, it's probably not the best use of time but my loquat tree is still loaded with fruit and it would be a shame to see it go to waste.]


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