How To Make Loquat-Loganberry Pie
Why Use Loquats and Loganberries?
Growing up in California, loquats and loganberries were two familiar backyard edibles. They both ripened about the same time in the early summer, and pounds and pounds of these foods filled the freezer the rest of the year.
As a child, I didn't think either loquats or loganberries were anything too special. When I wanted a juicy piece of fruit, I preferred climbing the apricot tree to dealing with picking loquats. And when I when I went fishing through the tangled, thorny masses of berry bushes in the side yard, I sought out tiny, sweet raspberries over larger, tarter loganberries.
Little did I know that loquats and loganberries would prove next to impossible to buy — at any price — in so many other parts of the country. Now, every time I return to California and taste these rare flavors again, I realize how much I miss them.
Filling a Pie From a California Garden
Loquats and loganberries are particularly good when baked together in a pie. An apple-raspberry pie is a good approximation, but it's not quite the real deal. This is.
The following family recipe was tested, tasted and photographed by E. A. Wright.
Recipe For Homemade Loquat-Loganberry Pie
1 3/4 cups of flour
4 cups of halved loquats
3/4 cups of chilled butter
1 cup of loganberries
1/2 cup of cold water
1/2 cup of sugar
Additional flour for rolling the pie dough
1/3 cup of corn starch
Making Loquat-Loganberry Pie
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- Lemon Zest and Lavender Drop Cookies
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You'll also need the following kitchen equipment:
- Large mixing bowl (for the filling)
- Medium mixing bowl (for the crust)
- Measuring cups
- Mixing spoon
- Pastry cutter
- Rolling pin
- Small knife
- Pie pan
What To Do
- Prepare the pie dough by cutting the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter.
- Keep on cutting the butter until it is in small enough pieces that the mixture has the texture of rough sand.
- Pour in the cold water and mix lightly until the dough sticks together in one ball.
- Cover and refrigerate the pie dough for about half an hour.
- While the dough is chilling, tackle the hardest part of this recipe: preparing the loquats. Wash and peel the them, then halve them with a small knife.
- Take out all of the seeds and the tough, surrounding membranes. This is a tedious process. Fingers work better than any kitchen tool.
- Place the halved, pitted loquats in the larger mixing bowl. Add the sugar and corn starch, then mix in the loganberries.
- Cover the filling and place it in the refrigerator, swapping out the pie dough.
- Dust a large surface with flour and split the dough into two lumps. One ball should be slightly larger then the other; this will be the bottom layer of the pie crust.
- Form each lump into a large circle with a rolling pin. (Make sure the rolled circles are several inches larger in diameter than the pie dish.)
- Assemble the pie by placing the larger circle in the base of pie dish. Pour in the chilled filling. Drape the smaller circle over the top.
- Roll up the overhanging edges of the pie dough and crimp the roll to form a seal. Pressing two fingers together forms a basic, ridged pattern on the finished pie crust.
- Poke a few holes in the top layer of the pie crust. (This allows steam to escape as the pie bakes.)
- Put the pie in the oven and let it bake at 400 F for 50 minutes.
- Let the pie cool for at least half and hour before trying to serve it. One pie should serve eight people.
- Refrigerate any leftovers. Chilled loquat-loganberry pie will still taste good the next day.
More About the Ingredients: Loquats
Loquats: A yellow, mellow, juicy fruit
Loquats (Eriobotrya japonica) come from Asia, but they are now grown in many parts of the world. Loquat trees prefer warm, mild weather, so they grow well in California. The trees produce a round, egg-sized fruit with a distinctive yellow skin.
Ripe loquats will darken to an orange-yellow shade, and sometimes the skin becomes mottled with black freckles. Inside, the flesh of a loquat is soft, whitish-yellow color and very juicy. In terms of texture, it's a little like the flesh of a pear or grape.
Loquats contain many large, brown seeds that, unfortunately, can prove tedious to remove.
Where to Buy Loquats
Loquats aren't commonly sold in the United States.
In New York City, the only place I've seen that had loquats for sale was Eataly, near Madison Square Park. This Italian specialty store had a small number of loquats in stock a few weeks before Christmas, but only for a very short time. Just a few days after I first noticed the familiar, yellow fruits in the produce section, they were all gone.
Fresh loquats sometimes show up in markets in California, where the fruits come into season in late spring and early summer.
Canned loquats, which I haven't yet tried, are offered for sale online.
More To Make With Loquats
- Strawberry Loquat Nectar
Loquats can be eaten fresh off the tree, but they also shine when paired with strawberries in a homemade fruit nectar.
About the Ingredients: Loganberries
Loganberries: Rare, Tangy Berries
Loganberries are a cross between raspberries and blackberries. They were the product of a backyard experiment in California, and they grow very well there.
In shape, loganberries are less round and much longer than raspberries. Their color varies from reddish to deep purple, but they never turn the shiny, dark-purple shade of blackberries.
Even when loganberries are very ripe, they are not particularly sweet. They are best enjoyed in baked goods and jams.
Where to Buy Loganberries
I've never seen loganberries for sale in a grocery store, but the plants can be ordered from nurseries.
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