Loquat Crumble

April 11, 2013


Ever heard of a Loquat?  If you live on the Gulf Coast, you’ve probably seen them around. They are everywhere you look in Fairhope. The odd little fruit appears in the spring and confuses a lot of us.

Although plentiful, we don’t use them as much as we do other native fruits. The size of a large fig, they are ripe just before the rock-star blackberries appear.

This is my neighbor’s Loquat tree.
I call this photo, “Loquat and Laundry.”

Kind of like a Kumquat, except fuzzy like a peach, the oblong fruit is valued as much if not more for its ornamental qualities as well as its tasty zest. I saw a yard yesterday with Loquat trees lining the driveway.  They can grow quite large and have distinctive, long, glossy leaves, so they make a nice looking tree even when there’s no fruit.

To me, the Loquat is a pain in the neck to eat, because you have to peel each tiny one. In some Asian countries, the Loquat is known as a Japanese Plum and they are canned, like peaches, in sweet syrup.

I’ve seen Loquat jelly in specialty shops around here, but for the most part, people just pick and eat the fruit off the tree.  To me, it’s a citrusy-peachy-pear sort of taste. Does that help?

Here’s a recipe I found for Loquat Crumble.  I’ll start picking and peeling to make one for myself this weekend.  Or perhaps I’ll give it to my neighbor.  It’s the least I can do since I aired her (clean) laundry on the internet! (Oh yeah, and borrowed 3 cups of loquats!) I’ll give her figs later this summer.

Loquat Crumble
3 cups loquats, peeled and pitted
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup water
(some people also add 1/2 cup of raisins, but I say, why ruin a good dessert?)
1-2 cups crushed gingersnaps, two Tablespoons brown sugar, mixed with 1/2 cup melted butter.
Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat for 20-30 minutes until simmered together. Cool, and pour into a buttered or greased casserole dish. Spread on topping.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until top is crispy and slightly brown.

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