If I can rely on my erratic memory, the first time I encountered a loquat was sometime in the very early 80’s, curiously picking fruit from an unknown tree in the yard of my parents house in Ipswich, Queensland. It was a smallish tree with broad green leaves bearing a pale orange fruit I’d never seen before, the size of a small egg. Juicy and tasting sour and sweet a little like an apricot.
That was the last time I saw this fruit, native to China I think, and it was only recently that I spotted the same fruit tree just down the road from my house. Memories came flooding back. The tree I found had branches sagging from ripe fruit and I had to get my hands on them, despite being on private property. Rather than pillage my desirables as I did for another recipe, I asked and was granted permission to pick as much fruit as I wanted, even though most of it was overripe and rotten.
I already had a basic recipe in my mind. A tart of some kind, filled with frangipane. Rather than use the traditional almond meal, I went with ground pistachio’s and rosewater for an exotic touch and ground wattleseeds for an Australian touch. The flavour of the loquat is really enhanced as they bake and caramelise. If you can’t get your hands on this fruit, use small apricots instead.
Combine flour, butter and sugar in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add yolk and chilled water. Process until dough just comes together.
Turn pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until just smooth and shape into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.