Serious fans of the “Twilight” film series know that one reason the actor Robert Pattinson was so taken with his co-star, Kristen Stewart, was her loquat pie. I’m not sure what her recipe is, but I love making this treat. With loquats now filling the trees in the area, there’s no reason to hold off on making your own.
You can use fresh loquats in this pie, but I prefer the fruit after it has been frozen whole. It seems to sweeten the fruit and to bring out almond and apricot flavors. So, you can pick the loquats, pop them in the freezer overnight (pits and all), thaw them and then begin this recipe.
Freezing the fruit will also change the color of the flesh, making it much darker.
5 cups loquats, pitted and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup water or 1/2 cup agave nectar, or less, to taste
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons tapioca pearls
2 (9-inch) pie crusts, unbaked
Egg wash made of 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water
Sugar, for garnish, if desired
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place chopped loquats in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and water or agave nectar as well as butter and almond extract. Stir occasionally until butter is melted. Stir in cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in tapioca pearls.
Pour mixture into bottom crust. Top with second crust and crimp the two crusts together. Cut vents into the top to let steam release. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle sugar on top, if desired.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 30 additional minutes.
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie or about 8 servings.
From John Griffin