Loquat jam is sweet and tart, slightly floral and absolutely delicious. Loquats are more commonly referred to as “Japanese plum” and they are high in pectin, which makes them ideal for jams. The flavor of a loquat is a combination of peach, citrus and a little mango. If you are looking for loquat recipes and how to use up your fruit, this jam is a great place to start. If you’re looking for another unique jam recipe, this peach pepper jam with hatch chiles is a favorite!
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Loquat trees are found in tropical climates, so before I moved south, I had never heard of them. Let me tell you something – I was missing out. Loquats are related to apples, but they taste like a peach mixed with citrus and a bit of mango thrown in for good measure. The flavor is so unique and delicious. If you are picking loquats, look for deep golden yellow colored fruit. Anything less than that will make your mouth pucker as they can be really tart.
Making jam out of this fruit is easy because they are naturally high in pectin. Pectin is a naturally occurring starch in fruits that helps set the jam. This means, you don’t have to use much of the store bought kind in the box because the loquats come with plenty of their own.
loquat jam recipe
Three months after I moved to Florida, I went to visit my aunt and uncle who live here part of the year. My Aunt Ramona made loquat jam and asked if I would like to try it. Of course I replied with a resounding “YES”, as I am never one to refuse food.
Then we went outside to pick a few off of her tree. Standing in the sunshine, eating fruit right off the tree, still warm from the sun is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I found myself licking my fingers, sticky with loquat juice and laughing like a little kid at the mess I made. Fruit from the tree beats anything you could buy at the market every single time. There is just no comparison.
What does loquat fruit look like? Below is a photo of a loquat tree with perfectly ripe loquats on it. Because you can’t buy them at the grocery store, I had to find someone with a tree who was willing to give me some. Luckily, I made a connection with someone and now I have a source! If you are lucky enough to have a loquat tree or you know someone who has one, pick a few pounds of loquats and make this jam. It is unlike anything you’ve ever had before.
Loquat Jam with pectin
I have never made loquat jam and although Aunt Mona shared her recipe, it was more of an outline. I have made strawberry key lime jam, blackberry blueberry jam, fig jam, even sweet bacon jam, but not loquat.
The very first time I made this jam, I was using frozen loquats that someone had given me. I split the loquats in half, just in case I messed up the first batch of jam and it’s a good thing I did. The first batch didn’t set up as I had hoped. It tasted great, but wasn’t as thick as it should be.
I made a second batch with what I had left, made a few adjustments and it was perfect. The loquats I had were a mixed bag. Some were really ripe, while others were not even close.
A couple of weeks ago, I made this jam again with fresh loquats right from the tree that I peeled and seeded myself. This made a huge difference in the outcome. My jam came together much easier than it did the first time because I had perfect fruit. When I used the frozen fruit that was given to me, the loquats were in various stages of ripeness. This batch, my fruit was perfectly ripe and that helped quite a bit.
Loquat Jam with Cardamom
The other glitch I had the first time I made this jam was with the cardamom. The first round, I used lightly crushed cardamom pods to infuse the jam. It was barely detectable. Obviously unhappy with this outcome, I used ground cardamom in the second batch and it has the “hint” of flavor that eluded the first batch.
When I get my hands on more fruit to make this recipe again, I may try adding more pods to see if I can get the cardamom flavor that I was trying to get the first time.
How to make loquat jam
If you are new to jam making, there are a few things you should know. Get all of your equipment together first. Make sure everything is clean and ready to go. Measure all of your ingredients and have everything laid out. This Strawberry Key Lime Jam post gives you a few tips, if you want to give it a quick read.
Loquats tend to start turning dark shortly after you pick them, so keep that in mind when cooking with them. You can’t pick them and leave them hanging around for a few weeks. The lemon juice will help to keep them from oxidizing when cooking. If you are concerned about them browning too much while you’re peeling, add the lemon juice to the fruit and give it a quick toss.
They have a few seeds in the center, so you’ll need to remove that by splitting them in half and pulling them out. It is up to you whether you want to peel them or not. They have a thin skin, but if you want a very smooth jam, you’ll need to peel the fruit. The video at the top of this post walks you through all of that.
After that, it’s simply a matter of combining everything and cooking it. It’s pretty easy, even for beginner jam makers, which is why this is a great recipe for those learning how to make jam.
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How to use loquat jam
Here are a few things that I love to slather with this japanese plum jam:
Loquat Jam essentials:
Loquat Jam recipe notes
As stated in the video, your fingertips and nails may get a little brown from peeling and seeding. Rinse your hands every now and then while you are peeling and it should help. My aunt compains of this, but I’ve never had much of an issue with it. It might be because I rinse my fingertips off every so often while I’m peeling and seeding. It might be because she makes bigger batches of jam and peels more fruit. Either way, if you are a hand model, wear gloves to protect your fingers.
If you prefer very chunky jam, you can skip the step for pulsing in the food processor. I like this jam smoother, so I break it up a bit, but it is personal preference.
- 4 cups loquats, puréed
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, fresh
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 - 3 tbsps pectin
- 1 - 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1. Sterilize 6 half pint jars and lids. Keep warm until ready to use. Set up canning pot with rack and enough water to cover jars by 2 inches. Heat water in canning pot to a simmer so it will be ready to boil when you are ready to seal jars.
- 2. Put loquats in food processor and pulse a few times to break them up. Don't puree until smooth, you want a little texture, but nothing bigger than a pea.
- 3. In a large, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive sauce pot, add loquat pulp and lemon juice. Over low heat, bring to a boil.
- 4. When the mixture is boiling, add sugar (and pectin, if using) and increase heat to medium/medium high. Return to a rolling boil while stirring vigorously for the first few minutes.
- 5. The jam will boil anywhere from 20 - 30 minutes depending on your fruit. (Mine needed 30 minutes)
- Stir frequently to avoid scorching on the bottom of pot. You will notice that it gets thicker and a little sticky and syrupy. When it begins to thicken and it's almost done, add the cardamom and stir.
- 6. Remove from heat and ladle into jars, leaving 1/2 inch space. Wipe rims clean with damp paper towel.
- 7. Put lids and rings on jars. Tighten to "fingertip tight" (not too tight) and lower jars into water bath. Process for 10 minutes, remove from water and set on a kitchen towel to cool overnight.
- 8. Enjoy!
In the recipe, it is 4 cups of puréed loquat pulp, you'll need about 5 - 6 cups of peeled and seeded fruit to yield this amount.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74 Sodium: 1mg Carbohydrates: 19g Sugar: 16g