Loquats (called akedenia in Lebanon), used to be my favorite Springtime treat. I saw a street cart vendor selling them lately, huge ones, (I need to snap a picture of him soon) ; a cross between a pear and a mango, with a short season, these fruits are special. They are grown in California and in Dallas, one can find them at the Middle-eastern store.
Loquats originated in China; to this day, the loquat leaf is used in Asian medicine to treat coughing (and other) issues. The fruit itself boasts a very high ratio of Vitamin A and is loaded with potassium. It contains pectin making it an ideal choice for jams or as a filling for pies. The seeds are toxic though and children should be kept away from them.
This is a simple dessert I made one day as an afterthought; stewed loquats funnily taste like apricots.
INGREDIENTS: 4 to 8 servings
- 1 lb. loquats, washed and peeled; seeds and inner skin discarded; cut in 2 or 3 pieces; sprinkle with lemon juice.
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- ½ cup pistachios, soaked in hot water for 2 hours prior, drained and peeled.
- In a large saucepan, place the sugar and cover with the water; bring to a simmer over medium heat; stir from time to time and as soon as the sugar has dissolved, add the loquats to the saucepan; simmer the mixture for 30 minutes; pour the lemon juice the last few minutes of simmering.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle a few pistachios in each bowl or place them in a bowl next to the loquats.