Once again I am turning the blog over to my husband Chris. Around our house it is understood that I am better at cooking things that are savory and he is better at cooking things that are sweet. One of the best things I ever did was buy him an ice cream maker. Given it was not the best thing for the size of my toosh, my tastebuds thank me often. Just this week he made a batch of honeydew flavor that is delish. One of our favorite recipes is for loquat since we have a big loquat tree growing in our front yard named Lowell. So onward to Chris.
Loquat trees are quite common in certain parts of Texas. Originally from China and Japan, the tree produces a tart fruit every April. We have several of these trees planted in our yard, but only one is large enough to produce fruit. Most will let this fruit rot on the tree and for good reason. It’s sour with a large pit and not much fruit. However, with a little sugar and a lot of love, anything is possible (isn’t it always?). Today I’m going to show you how to make some homemade loquat ice cream.
1 pint of Loquats
1 1/2 cups of Sugar
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 cups of Heavy Cream
1 cup of Milk
Ice Cream Maker
10 lb. bag of Ice
1 box of Ice Cream Salt
As I mentioned before, this fruit only comes on once a year in the spring, so you need to be ready to pick your fruit when its available. Depending on the weather, it doesn’t stay on the tree very long (several weeks to over a month). Pick enough ripe loquats that will net you 1 pint of fruit.
You can prepare the loquats without a knife as they are soft and pliable. Basically, grab one, stick your fingers in there and pop the seeds out. Put the fruit aside, throw the seeds out (or plant them, that’s what I do). Repeat. It’s up to you whether you peel the fruit or not. I’ve done it both ways. While I think the ice cream is probably slightly better with the peeled fruit, I’m not sure it’s so much better that it’s worth all of the work that goes into the peeling.
Pour ¾ of the sugar and the lemon juice over the fruit. Stir it real good, cover it, and stick it in the fridge. 2 hours is the minimum, but I’ve let it set overnight. Give it a stir every once in a while. This is also the point where you could freeze your fruit and walk away until sometime later in the year when you have a hankering for this ice cream.
It’s also a good time to put your empty ice cream can in the freezer to get cold. This will help your ice cream freeze faster.
Originally, I used a raspberry recipe from my Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream book to come up with this ice cream. It’s reproduced here. I chose the raspberry ice cream because I needed a fruit with a similar degree of tartness. It’s a cream base with the fruit added. You can make any fruit ice cream; you just need to know the sugar/fruit balance.
In a big bowl and using an electric mixer, blend the eggs, cream, milk, and remaining ¾ cup of sugar.
Take your fruit out of the fridge and pour the syrup into the ice cream mixture. Blend it in. Put the syrup-less fruit into the food processor and puree it. The B&J recipe tells you to mash it. Either way, you want to get your fruit into a pulpy mess because if you leave it whole or semi-whole, you’ll end up with fruit ice chunks in your ice cream. Blend the fruit into the ice cream mixture and then pour it all into your freezing cold ice cream can.
Now it’s time to turn the mixture into ice cream. Put the ice cream can into the ice cream maker, fill the sides alternately with a layer of ice, then a layer of salt, then a layer of ice, etc. until it’s filled to the top. Plug it in and let it do its thing. I like to do this part outside because it can get messy with the ice and salt. Add more ice and salt every time the level starts to drop.
How long it takes to set up depends on several things. Most importantly, the amount of salt you use. Be extremely liberal with it otherwise your ice cream will never harden. Also, it depends on the outside temperature. It’s been 100+ degrees in Austin this summer, so my ice cream is taking a lot longer than when it’s only 80. Ideally, anywhere from 20-45 minutes should do it. You’ll know when your ice cream is done because the bucket will stop on its own.
That’s it! You can eat it right away or put it in the freezer for later deliciousness. I would recommend eating this after you’ve spent all day working in the yard or hovered over the grill. It’s a very creamy, light-tasting (not light in calories!) ice cream.
I’ve also made loquat cobbler. I got the recipe from Loquat World. I would definitely recommend you take the time to peel the fruit if you’re going to make the cobbler. Grinding it up in the food processor for the ice cream it really doesn’t make a difference, but in this, the skin is a little tough for me. There are also a bunch of other recipes here I’ve never tried.
On the ice cream front, experiment by mixing your loquats with other fruits and see what you can come up with. I’ve mixed it with mango and separately, plums. It’s impossible to make a bad batch of homemade ice cream.