Ricotta and Custard Apple Cheesecake

Ricotta and Custard Apple Cheesecake

Serves 8 - 10


For the flling:
500g smooth ricotta
500g cream cheese (two blocks)
4 eggs
3 cup granulated sugar (75g)
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch sea salt
4 cup plain flour (40g)
1 cup custard apple flesh – approx
1 medium custard apple

For the crust:

6 ginger biscuits (80g)
1 tbsp butter, melted (20g)

To decorate:
2 cup custard apple, extra
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lime juice
2 ginger biscuits, crumbled
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 23 cm springform tin with a bit of the melted butter.
Crush or blitz the ginger biscuits to a fne meal. Scoop 2 tbsp of crumbs into the buttered tin and spread the biscuit meal around the sides, allowing any extra to settle in the base. Combine remaining butter and biscuit crumbs in a bowl and stir until just mixed. Press the mixture into the base of the tin, then pop the pan into the refrigerator while you make the flling.
In a food processor, blend ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, juice, zest, vanilla and salt to the processor – blend again until thick and smooth. Stir through custard apple, then fold in flour.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and gently crisscross a knife through the batter to break any air bubbles. Smooth the top of the cheesecake and place tin on a baking tray.
Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes, then turn the heat off, prop the door open a centimetre or so with the end of a wooden spoon, and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven for a further 1 hour.
Remove cake from oven, place on a rack and cool completely before releasing the side of the pan. Top cake with extra custard apple segments, zest and crumbled biscuit to serve.

Smooth ricotta is usually found in the dairy aisle instead of the deli section of the supermarket.
You can also use an electric hand blender to make the flling instead of a food processor, however it may not be quite as smooth.

Deliciously Sweet: Aussie Custard Apples in Season Now

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


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