Alyssa’s got a loquat tree in the yard of her house which provides her plenty of loquats. She’s made some loquat butter with the fruit from her tree but she told me she didn’t have a ton of other ideas for what to do with loquats. She gave me a bunch and I decided I would try and make them into tarts. This is my experiment!
I washed and peeled the loquats for my tarts. They have pretty large seeds in the middle and a little film from where the seed is, which I also took out. Alyssa told me she likes the skin, but I found it to be a little too tart for my liking. I also though having the skin on would make it too chewy, so I peeled all of the skins off and hand tore them into pieces. Apparently squirrels don’t like loquat skins, either. After they were peeled, I sprinkled nutmeg onto the fruit. If I could have found my cinnamon and if I had some lemon, I would have put both onto the fruit at this point.
I did mini tarts because I only have mini tart pans. I think I picked them up for really cheap at a thrift store one time in the hopes that I would make a lot of tarts. Crusts have intimidated me in the past, so that hasn’t really happened, but I made good crust this time!
I used the recipe for Sweet Pastry Crust from Joy of Baking. I was surprised that this called for room temperature butter (I’m so used to seeing “use cold butter” in a lot of recipes) and I figured it looked easy enough. I tried to handle it as little as possible and I ended up sticking in the freezer since the dough was still too wet and not too firm after being in the fridge for 20 minutes. I pricked the bottom of the shells with a fork for good measure as well.
I don’t have any fancy pie weights so I used parchment paper and rice to blind bake my mini tart crusts.
After baking the crusts (smelled so good) I placed a bunch of loquats into each mini tart crust. I made a custard that I poured over the top of each tart with a mini funnel. I adapted this Apple Custard Tart from Joy of Baking to use in my recipe.
The mini tarts sit and cool on a wire rack.
I loved the crust and I think I have the confidence to try crust again, yay! The only bummer thing about my recipe is that I really felt like it could use cinnamon. I didn’t cook the loquats either like they do with the apples for the Apple Custard Tart recipe since I didn’t think it was necessary, but it might add another layer of flavor to try that next time. Loquats seems to be a versatile little fruit and I think most tart recipes would work well with it. Another thing to try with these fruit would be to add a crumbly crisp to the top for a little extra texture.