June 11, 2009
Is it a custard or is it an apple?
Neither if you ask me. This strange, knobbly, 'echidna' resembling fruit is one of my absolute favourites. It is meaty, luxurious, smooth, velvety and soooo sweet. There is no dainty way to eat this fruit; a bit like a mango really. Split open, spoon out some flesh (if you must use manners); but wait; nah manners are out the window. Those big seeds need to be spat out. Nothing dainty about that.
I ate one I discovered lying on the ground the other day which is unusual because they generally need to be picked and allowed to ripen a little or a lot. It depends. There don't seem to be any rules regarding these critters. They can fall off and be absolutely perfect but mostly if they have fallen to the ground they're past eating stage.
If you leave them on the tree they can split open and begin to rot or they can sit in the fruit basket and just blacken and harden without the beautiful flesh ripening. See, very finicky creatures. I guess that is why when you do strike a "beauty" it is an absolute moment of joy and pleasure.
The tree itself is lovely. It stands not that tall and the leaves are a beautiful, big fresh green colour. If a branch is very laden then it is at risk of breaking because they can extend a long way out from the trunk of the tree.
They really are one of nature's most miraculous tropical trees and we feel very blessed to have one; actually no two because one sprouted up from a seed next to the chookhouse and has it's first bearing right now.
I took this picture early morning as the sun was coming up. The custard apples fruit all over the tree. I found these ones just above the ground and even touching the ground.
Oh horror! Looking up high at the tree I discover the damn cockies have taken liberty to help themselves. A couple of beauties up high have massive chunks in them. And only the other night we were saying how nothing seems to get them; you know the usual flying foxes, possums etc. So now we have to eat some humble pie. Wait till I show hubby.
Lucky we picked a heap last week. Here is my fruit basket proudly on display. The big fellow in the foreground couldn't fit in the bigger basket so he scored a fruit bowl all to himself. Would you believe he weighed 1.520kgs. No kid. Really. He alone would have cost about $11 at current market prices.
We have eaten the big fellow. Believe it or not just two days later he was beginning to split and we enjoyed him after our dinner. The perfect dessert. And he fed three of us. AAAAnd there was some of him leftover.
I have seen the odd recipe with how to use custard apples but I'm afraid this is one fruit that simply does not deserve to be tampered with. Enjoy as nature intended because it is simply perfect on it's own.