Apr 24, 2024 - Food and Drink

How to make loquat syrup

An image of jars lined up in a row.

A batch of delicious loquat syrup. Photo: Carolyn Kimball Gee/Axios

Loquats are back in Austin, and we're here with a recipe for loquat syrup.

Why it matters: Loquat trees are often planted as ornamental evergreens, but their fruit is actually tasty when ripe.

  • We made ours over the weekend, and my 3-year-old helped pick the loquats.

The big picture: This spring is the first time since 2020 that Austin has seen loquats.

  • Hard freezes, ice or snow typically kill the blossoms.

How it works: If you don't have a loquat tree, find one in your neighborhood and ask your neighbor if they would mind if you picked some of their fruit.

  • Most people will be happy you're depriving them of the mess of fallen loquats.
A photo of loquats close up in a tree.
Photo: Bob Gee/Axios

What to do: Look for loquats that are turning orange. Fill a bowl and try a few as you do.

  • Back home, cut each fruit in half, remove the seeds and drop the halves in a pot. Cover with water and boil for at least half an hour.
  • Mash with a potato masher and run the mashed loquats with the liquid through a food mill, then strain the remaining liquid through a cheesecloth.
  • Pour the liquid back into the pot and add lots of sugar — 2/3 of the volume of liquid — and the juice of one lemon for every 4 cups or so.
  • Boil on high for about 15 minutes.
  • After it cools slightly, give it a stir and carefully pour it into small Mason jars and refrigerate.

Of note: Sometimes, you'll end up with jelly if there's enough natural pectin, but usually you'll need to add pectin from the store to get jelly.

The bottom line: Give some to your neighbor with the loquat trees and enjoy the rest on plain yogurt or Sunday morning pancakes!

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