Loquat, pistachio & wattleseed tart

Loquat, pistachio & wattleseed tart

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.

Loquat, pistachio & wattleseed tart recipe

Loquat, pistachio & wattleseed tart recipe

Loquat, pistachio & wattleseed tart recipe

loquat, pistachio & wattleseed tart

serves 12

 

pastry :

  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • 125 g unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup raw caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp chilled water

 

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.

filling :

  • 240 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup raw caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1½ tsp rosewater
  • 240 g ground pistachio’s
  • 80 g (6 tbsp) plain flour
  • 1 tbsp wattleseeds, ground
  • 10-14 loquats
  • 2 tbsp pistachio’s, left whole
  • 1 tbsp raw caster sugar, extra, to sprinkle
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally beat in the vanilla and rosewater.
In a separate mixing bowl combine the ground pistachio’s, flour and wattleseeds. Mix well. Pour this into the wet mixture and mix well by hand.
On a floured surface, roll the pastry to 5 mm thickness and line a 25 cm tart pan (with removable base). Spread the filling over the pastry base and smooth out the surface. Cut the loquats in half lengthways, remove the seeds and place each half, cut side up, on top of the tart filling. Dot the pistachio’s between the loquats and place the whole tart in the fridge for 15 minutes as you preheat the oven to 170°C.
Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of caster sugar over the loquats and bake the tart for 1 hour, or until golden. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before removing the tin. Serve with double cream laced with a little rosewater, or just a dollop of natural yoghurt.
  • Sheryl Nicholson

    Everything about this is beautiful, the ingredients, the mood, the plateware. I remember growing up with Loquat trees too and thinking they were kind of odd but now I really want some! And wattleseeds, really?!

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