I have a little problem. I'm addicted to cookbooks, food writing, recipe collecting, and cooking. I have a lot of recipes waiting for me to try them, and ideas from articles, tv, and restaurants often lead to new dishes. I started losing track of what I've done. So now I'm taking photos and writing about what I've prepared—unless it's terrible in which case I forget it ever happened.
We’ve had our loquat tree for four years or so, and every year the birds get to eat the fruit before I do. However, thanks to last year’s abundant rain, we had more loquats than ever this year, and I finally got to harvest some. The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) lives in our backyard with several palms, bananas, ferns, and bamboo plants. It’s evergreen and blooms in the fall and winter so that the fruit is ripe in the spring. Picking the fruit and cooking with it was very exciting because I’ve looked forward to doing so since my first taste of loquat. On a trip to Bermuda in 2002, my dessert one evening was goat cheese-cheesecake with loquat jam. Since then, knowing that loquats grow easily in Austin, I’ve been hoping to grow my own and cook with them. Maybe this isn’t exciting for those who have lived with loquat trees their whole lives, but it’s a warm climate delight for me. They were very easy to peel, and the seeds popped out with no problem. I cooked them down with a little water and honey. They didn’t thicken as quickly as apricots, so I assume they have less pectin. Their flavor is mild; not too sweet and not too tart. At last, I had my very own loquats in a tart of my making.
In hindsight, the look of the tart would have been improved by a few carefully placed raspberries on top.