Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Pie-Day: Loquat Pie





We have a loquat tree in our backyard. Some years it doesn’t do much, but this year the fruit on it was abundant! So much so that we decided to make a pie. (Our family has a thing for pies.)




Now loquats are tiny, tasty little fruits, also known as Japanese plums, and they have several seeds in the middle. The recipe I found called for 4 cups of loquats, but I doubled that, wanting to fill the whole pie dish. Needless to say, even if you do have easy access to loquats, this recipe is not for the faint of heart.




It wasn’t difficult to get 8 cups from our happy little tree – using only the ones in arm’s reach (there are hundreds in the high branches if we weren’t too lazy to get out a ladder), my sister and I picked 173 of them in 10 minutes.




Then I set about the arduous task of de-seeding and chopping up those 173 loquats. That’s right. One hundred and seventy-three. And I saved all the seeds just to include them in this picture.




My fingernails turned brown from the 3 hours of de-stemming, de-seeding, and chopping… and this picture was after I picked all the dirt out from under the nails. No, this pie was not one of those “quick and easy” recipes.




I had the sense to do all this work the night before, then I doused them with lemon juice, covered them with plastic wrap, and set them in the refrigerator overnight.




On the up-side, it was one of the tastiest! But how could it not be when the main portion of the filling was home-grown in one’s own backyard?




This was also the cheapest pie we’ve ever made – we bought nothing and used only ingredients that we already had – flour, sugar, spices, and… oh yeah, the loquats we walked outside to pick!




But you want the pie recipe. Well, with all that prep work behind you, the recipe itself is pretty straightforward. You begin by cooking the loquats in water in a large pot on the stovetop. It took about 15 minutes on medium heat for me.




While that’s cooking, you can make the pie crust and throw together the “dry ingredients” – sugar and all those spices.




Keeping the loquats cooking on medium heat, dump in all those dry ingredients and add some vanilla too.




We thought it looked a little like baked beans here – haha. This was before I added the lattice crust top and popped it into the oven – starting at 450 for 10 minutes, then changing to 350 for 30 minutes.




OK, so it was a little overfilled, but it turned out beautifully!




The smell was heavenly! It actually reminded us of wassail, but it also had that great loquat flavor too (which combines the taste of a peach, citrus, and mango).




Some other recipes suggested using part brown sugar and part sugar, or adding raisins, which sounded interesting, but I just stuck to the basics.




Since I increased the amount of loquats from 4 cups to 8 cups (which just barely fit in the pan), I also increased the water from ½ cup to a full cup, and the flour from 2 tbsp. to 4 tbsp. And I was a little heavy-handed with the spices.




This was a delicious pie. The hours of preparation were worth it, but I don’t know that I could make them on a regular basis. Our loquats are only in season at this time of year though, so I guess we’ll have to wait until next year (if they produce) to make it again. Delicious and unique!




Loquat Pie (recipe adapted from Foodista & Lest They Be Lost)


8 cups of loquats

1 cup of sugar

½ - ¾ cup water

4 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. allspice

¼ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. cloves

⅛ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

top and bottom crust for 9-inch pie



  1. Wash and quarter loquats, removing seeds. (If you do this step several hours in advance, douse with lemon juice before storing in refrigerator.)
  2. Combine loquats and water on stovetop and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes until loquats are tender.
  3. Combine dry ingredients, then stir into loquats, adding vanilla as well. Cook until thickened (about 15 minutes); remove from heat and cool.
  4. Pour into pastry-lined pan, add top crust, and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



7 comments:

  1. I've nominated you for the Liebster Award on my blog. http://amomsviewfromthepew.blogspot.com/2013/03/liebster-award.html

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  2. I made my first ever pie at 66 using your recipe, and Loquats from our backyard. I cheated on the pie crust using Pillsbury premade pie dough, but everything else was from scratch. I think it tastes kind of like peach pie, and my wife thinks it taste like peach/pumpkin because of the cloves. To quiet her down I told her if I make it again I'll leave out the cloves...some people are never happy.

    Don

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  3. Wow, definetely need to try this Loquat pie! You've got a nice Loquat tree there and nice looking pictures. I've recently "discovered" Loquats myself. A few years ago a few months before my Dad passed away, he got a small tropical looking tree in a small sepia pot and put it on the side of our house. He never mentioned what kind of tree it was or where he got it from. I watered it ocassionally like the rest of our plants and didn't think much of it until the 1st of this month, November 1st 2013. On The 1st I noticed some white blooms that looked similar to apple blossoms on the small tree. I love plants, so to see this one starting to bloom in November which I thought was kind of unusual, made me excited. I posted a picture of it on Facebook to see if any friends and family members could help me identify the tree and a cousin of my deceased father replied and said that the leaves and blooms look like "Loquat". "What the heck is a Loquat?" I thought. I did some research and found out that it was a golden colored Evergreen fruit that originates in China and blooms in the Fall and fruits in the late winter and early spring. I was so thrilled that the tree that my Dad left me and my Mom was actually an exotic fruit tree! I then repotted it in a bigger container and put it in a very sunny area of our front yard. Literally one week later after I noticed the white fragrant blossoms of my Dad's Loquat tree I took my Mom to a Chinese mandarin restaurant and she got a fortune from a fortune cookie that read, "When the flowers bloom, so will great joy in your life." It gave me chills! Was this refering to my Dad's Loquat blooms? It was like a sign from him. :) Both my Dad's and my birthday's are in November and he passed from pneumonia in November of 2011. The Loquat tree started blooming in November, and the color of the Loquat fruit is the same yellow-orange color as the November birthstone, Citrine. For my Mom to get that fortune one week after i noticed the Loquat blossoms was incredible. I had to share this story. Like the fortune said, I hope this Loquat tree will bring us great joy and many tasty fruit and Loquat pies! Thanks again for your post Kirsten! God Bless ;)

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    Replies
    1. Great story - thanks for sharing! Hope your tree produces lots of yummy fruit in the coming years!

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    2. Thanks Kirsten, same to you. :) Hey, but I was wondering though if you could tell me what Loquats taste like and if you could describe the fruit's taste. I don't ever remebering trying them before. I definitely plan on trying your pie recipe and a spiced Loquat cider recipe I saw online, but would like to get an idea of what kind of fruit and fruit flavor I will be dealing with in the future as far as cooking goes.

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    3. It's sort of a combination of peach, citrus, and mango? Lovely taste. With these spices (cinnamon, vanilla, etc), we thought the pie filling tasted kinda like wassail. Our tree is a little fickle and doesn't produce every year, but sometimes we get a bumper crop like this! Enjoy!

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  4. Loved reading about this. Am going to try your recipe, I was just introduced to this fruit by my boyfriend this year because he has one. I like them, he has the tree! I'll let you know the results.

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