Add sweet custard apples to your shopping list for July.
It might be slightly strange-looking with its knobbly skin, but this tropical, deliciously sweet and creamy fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and also contains fibre, magnesium and potassium.
There are two main varieties of Custard Apples. The Pinks Mammoth (or Hillary White), and the African Pride. Both are sweet, juicy and full of flavour. A new variety, Tropic Sun, is designed as a small tree for gardens and has sweet creamy fruit.
Look for plump fruit without any discolourations to the skin. Pale green custard apples are ready to eat. They will be firm but give to slight pressure. The darker green custard apples need a few days to ripen.
Ripen custard apples at room temperature. Once ripe, you can store them in the fridge for up to three days
Simply scoop out the soft, pale flesh (discard the seeds) and eat on its own, or add to a range of recipes. Custard apples can be tossed into salads or used as a tasty topping for desserts. Pureed custard apple flesh is great for adding to sorbets, ice-cream, yoghurt, smoothies or baking into muffins and cakes.
3 ways with custard apples
Puree custard apple flesh then fold through low-fat natural or Greek-style yoghurt. Enjoy on itsown, or use to top your muesli or cereal in the morning.
Instead of regular apples, use custard apples for a tropical twist in your next fruit crumble.
Make this custard apple sauce to serve with chicken, pork or fish. Combine a cup of pureed custard apple, low-fat natural yoghurt, a little caster sugar and a dash of mixed spice and lemon juice. The sweet sauce makes the perfect accompaniment for white meats.