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Loquat Jelly

Loquat Jelly & Fruit

Loquat Jelly & Fruit

One of the treasured fruits found in the South is the loquat, but it’s not very well known. I know it sounds like kumquat — and they are about the same size —  but the two fruits are not actually related. The loquat, when ripe, is soft and a little sweet, almost like a citrusy mango; they flower in the fall or winter and ripen from early spring to early summer. They are difficult to find in grocery stores or markets because they don’t travel that well, so the best thing to do is just grow your own.

Loquats are actually very easy to grow and you can grow them as ornamental shrubs or trees, with the added benefit of getting a tasty fruit harvest from them every year. They are native to China and have been growing in Japan for at least 1000 years, and can be found in subtropical climates all over the world. Here in the United States, they are fairly common in Florida and California, as well as across the southern states — including right in my own back yard! It’s hardy in zones 8 and up, and generally won’t flower in places where the temperature falls below 30°F in winter.

To grow the loquat,

it doesn’t take much more than taking one of the seeds, which are about the size and shape of an almond, and putting it directly into the ground. In a warm climate, they can sprout quite easily. You can also start the seeds indoors just as you would any other seed and then transplant them later.

Loquat Jelly Jars

Stacy’s notes:

• Water boils at 212°F, but since there’s sugar and fruit in the mixture, there’s a higher boiling point. The crazy thing is that if you allow the mixture to continue boiling you hit the thread candy stage at 223°F.  

• Did you know? Salt water and oil both have a boiling point higher than pure water. If you’re boiling water for pasta or rice, don’t add any salt until after the water boils, because it’ll boil faster!

• Want to learn more about canning, drying, and freezing? Everything you need to know is right here!

Loquat Jelly

To prepare the loquats,

halve them and remove the seeds, then peel the skin off — it’s pretty similar to an apricot. The skins should be easy to remove, but you can also blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunge them into an ice water bath, which should help the skins slip right off.

Most jellies have a mixture of 1 part fruit to 1 part sugar by weight. You usually always add the juice of a lemon or two, depending on the ph of the fruit. Because loquats have very little pectin content, you’ll have to add pectin to the mixture once the mixture reaches 220°F. When the mixture comes back to a boil, ladle the mixture into the sterilized jars. Mash loquats while they are heating with a potato masher or if you want more of a smooth consistency.

In the recipe below, you will need to use the boiling method to can this jelly long term. 

Loquat Jelly Cooking

Loquat Jelly

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of ripe loquat pulp
  • 3 pounds of sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pack of liquid pectin

Instructions

  1. After seeding and removing the skin of the loquats, add the pulp to a medium-sized saucepan. Add the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice to the saucepan and bring combined mixture to a boil. Continue to boil until the temperature reaches 220°. Add the pectin and stir constantly for one minute. Remove mixture from heat and begin canning following boiling method.

 

Loquat Jelly - One of Life's Most Treasured Gifts!

Loquat Jelly – One of Life’s Most Treasured Gifts!Stacy’s notes:

• Water boils at 212°F, but since there’s sugar and fruit in the mixture, there’s a higher boiling point. The crazy thing is that if you allow the mixture to continue boiling you hit the thread candy stage at 223°F.  

• Did you know? Salt water and oil both have a boiling point higher than pure water. If you’re boiling water for pasta or rice, don’t add any salt until after the water boils, because it’ll boil faster!

• Want to learn more about canning, drying, and freezing? Everything you need to know is right here!

Stacy Lyn Harris canning tomatoes. Canning tomatoes is super easy and healthy!

I added this short video touring you from my front yard where my azaleas are blooming to the back courtyard where I’m picking my loquats. The loquat tree is gorgeous and its fruit out of this world!!

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