Custard apples are a sub-tropical fruit that provide a decadent taste from the tropics in the cooler months. This year, growers are expecting a great start to the season, with above average rainfall across the key growing regions of northern NSW and QLD and an extra warm spring/summer buoying the latest crop.
Australian custard apple grower, Patti Stacey says this bumper crop will extend from Autumn through to the start of Spring, making custard apples a tasty and nutritious choice throughout the colder months.
“Custard apples have pale green skin and a deliciously creamy texture, so they’re best enjoyed fresh or in simple desserts,” says Patti. “Their smooth and silky flesh provides a subtle taste of tropical flavours. Thanks to the lovely warm spring and summer we’ve had, the custard apples this season are deliciously sweet.
“The custard apple industry in Australia is growing in leaps and bounds, and we’re planting more trees every year which will give custard apple lovers plenty to choose from.”
Grower Patti Stacey’s Top Tips For Enjoying Custard Apples
1. Pick a Winner
When choosing a custard apple in store, pick one that is firm. They soften quickly and are quite fragile so it’s better to let them ripen in your fruit bowl at home. You can let your custard apples ripen at room temperature; this can happen within hours or take a few days.
2. 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.
3. Store Safely
Once ripe, custard apples can be refrigerated for one to two days, but can lose flavour if left longer. Wrap them in cling wrap or keep them in an airtight container to keep fresh. 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!
Top Tips To Serve And Eat Custard Apples
Custard apples are delicious as a snack or in simple dishes. Some ideas include
1 Serve a custard apple for your family to share. Simply pull apart or cut with a knife. All you need is a spoon!
2 Pair custard apple with shredded coconut and nuts on top of breakfast cereal for a morning treat
3 Tease out the flesh from a custard apple, discarding the skin and black seeds, and pop the flesh into a blender with ice cream, milk and honey for a super smoothie
4 Serve on top of fresh walnut (or plain) sourdough with low fat ricotta, honey and cinnamon for a tasty custard apple bruschetta.
Custard Apples Health Facts
Custard apples also boast a range of health benefits to help keep you in peak condition as the weather cools.
1 Immunity Booster: Custard apples are an excellent source of Vitamin C, with one serve containing 64.5mg, or 161% of the daily target for Australian adults. Vitamin C helps keep your immune system in good shape and fights free radicals
2 Gut Goodness: Custard apples are a source of dietary fibre, necessary for digestive wellbeing. One serve of custard apples contains 3.75 grams of dietary fibre (or 11% of the daily target for Australian adults)
3 Muscle Magic: Custard apples contain potassium, which is responsible for normal fluid and electrolyte balance. They are also a source of magnesium, which is important for normal nerve and muscle function and can help reduce tiredness and fatigue
4 Weight Warrior: Custard apples are low GI, making them a great choice for the weight conscious. Lower GI foods can help keep you fuller for longer and are appealing in the cooler months which can see the winter kilo creep set in.