IT doesn’t rain but pour in south Spain (trust me on this one ;)).
But the same is not just true of the surprising weather out here.
When fruit comes into season, you sure do know about it.
This month has been the turn of the wonderful nispero, that’s the ‘loquat’ or ‘medlar’ to English speakers among us.
Apparently they can grow in the UK, although the only medlars I’ve ever seen are the ones meddling in others’ business ;).
It was thanks to my wonderful friend Dominque that I tried my first ever nispero.
A professional gardener who has taken full advantage of his Mediterranean location, his garden is home to a beast of a nispero tree, alongside ones weighed down with mangoes, oranges, platanos, lemons and papayas.
So with our mutual friend Manon’s birthday coming up, we went to town.
However, you wouldn’t have guessed looking at the tree, which appeared miraculously untouched despite us being weighed down with bowls of its fruit-it must be the magic porridge pot of the fruit tree world.
Yellow in colour, I guess you could say they most look like a yellow plum or apricot. But boy, how much better they taste!
My first bite reminded me of a slightly less sweet mango, but just as juicy.
Half the nisperos went on to have a second life in Manon’s birthday cake.
The rest went into the pot in my first jam making session of the year.
On a beach-look conscious health mission, I decided to omit the sugar in favour of a healthy binder: chia seeds.
It had never occurred to me to use these magic seeds to make jam before, despite making many a jelly like pudding with them in the past.
Dead easy and very tasty as well as healthy, this jam will keep up to two weeks in a fridge if stored in sterilised jars.
And if you feel like being naughty, just add a few squirts of agave syrup to make it even sweeter.
Nispero jam recipe
4 cups of skinned, stoned and chopped nisperos
4 tablespoons of chia seeds, plus extra
drop of lemon juice
4 tablespoons of agave syrup (optional)
- Put nisperos in a big saucepan with a lid and cook on a low heat, stirring regularly, until mushy.
- Remove from heat and blitz with blender.
- Place in bowl and add chia seeds.
- Leave for 10 minutes to let chia seeds gelify. Add more if you would like jam to be thicker.
- If you would like the seeds to be less visible, place jam back in blender and blitz to your liking.
- Add lemon.
- Add agave, if you wish, to taste.
- Place bowl in fridge until mixture is completely cool.
- Place into sterilised jars and place back in the fridge, or better still, eat straight away with toast or spread onto the middle of a sandwich cake. Buen provecho!