As the great man Stevie Wonder once said “It’s hotter than July” – and that’s not too bad for the start of June. The first fruits are starting to ripen and the huerto (veggie patch) is getting greener by the day. The first of our trees to give fruit is the níspero (loquat). This year it has produced not only more, but larger fruit than previous years. This could be as a result of the wetter-than-normal spring or just that the trees are more established. Either way you look at it, we’ve had more fruit than we can eat. We’ve been eating the fruit straight from the tree for the last couple of weeks – I have even been giving bags away to the owner of one of the bars in the village, as I know that they’re his favourite. Now that the fruit is maturing and in danger of spoiling there are only one (or two) things left to do with them; and we all know what that means, don’t we? Jam!
Peel the loquats, putting the skins in another bowl. Remove the stone(s) and leave them in the water. The flesh of the fruit should be weighed before putting into the saucepan with the juice of 2-3 lemons. I ended up with 2.75kg of fruit. Add a little water (to prevent the fruit from sticking to the pan) and simmer for about 20 mins – or until the fruit is well softened.
Remove from the heat and add 2.25kg of sugar and a knob of butter (optional). Return to the heat and boil rapidly at between 94° and 104°C for 20-30 minutes – or until a setting point is reached. Jar and seal.
You should be left over with 1.7kg of skins – which I gave straight to the chickens (there’s no quicker way of making compost than putting it through an animal) – and 880gm of stones. Click This link to see an older post about what I do with the stones – trust me – you’ll want to know this!
There you have it – home made products with no waste – and you wondered what I did all day up here, eh?