The custard apple (Annona reticulate) is an interesting tropical fruit. It belongs to the family Annonaceae, which includes several other desirable fruits such as the Cherimoya, (A. cherimoya,) and the Sour Sop (A. muricata.) The custard apple is native to South America, but it took readily to the climate in my home state of Queensland, Australia, and specimens were recorded in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens in 1874. The state of Queensland is, I understand, the largest commercial producer of the custard apple in the world – although we export most of it to Asia.
The fruit has a very sweet, soft, creamy, custardy-textured flesh studded with large black seeds, and it must be very ripe for eating. The flesh is usually simply spooned out from the knobbly green skin, although it can be used as an ingredient in various dishes – even cooked dishes.
Jellied Custard Apple
Two cups water, ¼ cup sugar, 3 teaspoons granulated gelatine, juice of lemon, 3 medium-sized custard apples. Boil water and sugar for 3 minutes, then add gelatine dissolved in little boiling
water. When nearly cold, add lemon juice and custard apples, which should be seeded and broken into good-sized pieces. Serve with cream, or cream sauce made ae follows: ¼ cup butter, 2 cups icing sugar, ½ cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, or sherry. Cream butter, add sugar gradually, then add milk and flavoring slowly, taking care that it does not curdle. Serve in glass bowl with little nutmeg grated on top.
The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld) Thursday 9 June 1938
Custard Apple Pudding.
Make a batter of 2 eggs, half a cup of milk, one cup of sugar, 1 tablspoonful of butter, and 1 ½ cups of self-raising flour. Fill a basin half full of custard apples (scoop out the fleshy part and take out the seeds), sprinkle half a cup of sugar over it, squeeze a lemon over this, then spread the batter over, and steam for one hour. Serve with cream or custard.
The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.) 11 Sept 1930
Custard Apple Tart.
Line a tin platewith a good sweet pastry, fill with custard apple mixture, and bake for 20 minutes; place meringue on top and brown.
Custard apple mixture: Carefully remove seeds and skin from the custard apple. Place in a saucepan with ¼ cup milk, 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon blended cornflour, and bring to the boil; dd juice of half a lemon, 2 egg yolks, and quickly place in tart. If necessary add 1 dessertspoon of sugar.
Meringue: Beat whites of eggs stiffly, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat again; place on cooked tart.
The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld.) 29 September 1938