Serves 2 - 3
1 medium custard apple or approx 1 cup ﬂesh
2 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder (18g)
Pinch sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
1 tbsp almond or coconut milk, optional
2 tbsp cacao nibs or chopped dark chocolate (24g)
Scoop custard apple from the skin and remove seeds. Discard seeds and skin. Place custard apple ﬂesh and any juices on a lined tray. Freeze for 2 hours or until frm (frozen custard apple will still be pliable).
Blend frozen custard apple ﬂesh until it starts to form a sorbet. Add the cacao and sea salt and blend again until smooth. Add the milk if necessary to make blending easier.
Stir through cacao nibs or chopped chocolate.
Serve immediately or store in the freezer until required. If serving from the freezer allow sorbet to soften on the bench for 10 minutes before scooping.
Tip: Custard apple is quite sweet, however you can add a teaspoon or two of maple syrup to taste, if necessary.
The Australian custard apple season has officially kicked off, with plenty of the creamy and vitamin-rich fruit now available in stores.
Australian custard apple grower, Patti Stacey, says they're experiencing a great start to the season, with this year's fruit boasting an extra sweet flavour.
"The season so far has been excellent across all growing regions. The warm summer has given us a bumper crop and we've been lucky to have no major storms, floods or winds come through.
"When the fruit matures in warmer weather it makes it even sweeter, so this season's fruit has a deliciously sweet flavour and is filling out well."
The green-skinned fruit has a fresh and creamy texture that is well suited to sweet dishes or simply enjoyed as a snack, making them a tasty tropical choice throughout autumn and winter.
"During the season I eat one every day for breakfast. It's a delicious start to the day and because it's low GI it satisfies my appetite for quite a long time," says Patti.
Custard apples are also an excellent source of Vitamin C, with one serve containing 64.5mg, or 161% of the daily target for Australian adults, helping to keep your immune system strong throughout the colder seasons.
Here are Patti's top custard apple tips:
Pick a winner: When choosing a custard apple in store, pick one that is firm. They'll ripen quickly so best to let them soften at home in the fruit bowl.
Ripe and ready: A custard apple is ripe when you gently squeeze it and it gives slightly under your hand, similar to an avocado. You can speed up the ripening process by placing it in a paper bag with a banana. The softer you let it go, the sweeter it gets.
Storage smarts: Once ripe, custard apples can be refrigerated for up to three days. Store the fruit in an airtight container for longer-lasting freshness. Once you take it out of the fridge, let it sit for around five minutes before eating to get the best taste.
Enjoy: Custard apples are delicious as a snack or in simple dishes. They are best enjoyed fresh or in baked goods. Make sure to avoid overheating custard apples as it can dull its flavour and texture; instead simply stir the fruit through your dish just before serving.
Here are some tasty ideas:
Simply cut or tear the fruit apart and scoop out the flesh to enjoy it fresh.
Enjoy custard apple, shredded coconut and nuts on top of breakfast cereal for a sweet morning treat.
Add caramelised custard apples into your salads for a sweet and warming flavour.
Mix fresh custard apple and pears into a baked crumble for a delicious dessert that the whole family will love.
For a more decadent treat try a homemade chocolate and custard apple sorbet.
Serve custard apple chutney with your favourite grilled meats. It pairs perfectly with pork.
Did you know? The custard apples crop flourishes in line with the full moon ahead of Easter. It's a unique phenomenon that occurs every year!
For new recipes or more information on custard apples visit www.custardapple.com.au and www.facebook.com/custardapplesaustralia