It's really easy to make your own Loquat Jam and there are many Loquat Jam recipes out there, but this one has something extra; the vanilla bean.
Jams are easy to make, I know people who anxiously wait every year for strawberry season so they can buy a flat of strawberries, then rush home to make jam. But wouldn't it be nice to make a delicious jam from fruit that you can't buy in most stores?
What are Japanese Plums?
Japanese Plums (commonly known as Loquats here in Australia) are a staple in many backyards. They're also known as Japanese Medlars, Chinese Plums and knowns as pipa in China. A delicious fruit that many people don't know what to do with. I also love making Loquat Apple Crumble. Loquats taste like a cross between several fruits, like peach, apricot, and apple. When you get a really ripe loquat, my son says it tastes sweet like honey.
Japanese plums or loquats are closely related to the apple family, and have a slightly poisonous seed, like an apricot kernel. So don't eat the seeds, although you would need to eat a large amount to get sick. Now I don't like to fuss with a lot of things when cooking, such as peeling tiny fruits. Some people like to blanch them then peel them, but if they are ripe, they will peel easily. I don't bother with all that fuss. This loquat jam recipe is so easy. As the fruit cooks, it breaks down and softens the skin, then I use an immersion blender to blend it to a consistency I'm happy with.
Loquats are high in fibre and high in pectin naturally, so you don't need to add anything to your jam that shouldn't belong. Plus it has the added bonus of being the only fruit ripening during winter/spring, when no other local fruit is available.
Loquat Jam | Japanese Plum Jam
- 8 cups seeded quartered loquats
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
- juice of a large lemon
Wash and de-seed loquats. Cut them into quarters. Add lemon juice to prevent them from browning (but also necessary for the jam to thicken).
Put the loquats, sugar and lemon in a large pot over high heat, stirring until the sugar melts.
Cut the vanilla bean in half and add to the loquat mixture.
Bring to a boil while stirring constantly, then reduce to a low simmer.
Stir frequently to prevent from burning. The fruit will start to break down. You will need to cook this for approx 1 hour.
At the 30 minute mark, remove the vanilla beans from the jam. Take a stick blender or immersion blender and blend the loquats. I like to leave some texture and lumps in my jam. Add the vanilla beans again and continue to cook for the hour time frame, until the jam is thick. I find that after blending, the jam can burn quicker, so remember to stir.
Ladle into jars and seal with a lid. Allow to cool and set. Keep refrigerated unless you have properly canned and sealed the jam. Enjoy.