The scaly-green skin covering this strange heart-shaped fruit acts as an unfortunate deterrent to the delightfully sweet and ambrosia-like fruit within. The Cherimoya has been cultivated and loved for centuries in South America, but this sub-tropical delight is only beginning to make an appearance in U.S. produce markets.
Frieda’s Specialty Produce currently distributes the cheerful Cherimoya to grocery stores around the country, and the company recommends looking beyond its strange appearance and sinking your teeth into one of the most delicious fruits you’ve ever tasted!
Inside the Armadillo-like skin is a creamy-white flesh with large, black seeds. When ripe, the flesh gives slightly to the touch – much like a ripe avocado. The taste is often described as a familiar and fragrant combination of pineapple, banana and vanilla with a custard-like texture. (In fact, another name for the fruit is “custard apple.”) Once ripe, the Cherimoya is excellent when chilled, enjoyed in wedges or scooped with a spoon. The soft flesh is also a nice addition to fresh fruit smoothies, blended drinks and a variety of fruit-based desserts.
Here’s one delicious way to enjoy this tropical specialty from Frieda’s:
CHERIMOYA CUSTARD PIE
This pie turns deep golden brown and puffs up when it bakes, then settles upon cooling. The texture is light and airy, and the flavor is like nothing you’ve ever tasted!
1 10-inch unbaked deep-dish pie shell
1 1-lb. ripe Frieda’s Cherimoya, peeled, seeded and diced
3 eggs, separated
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven to 450 F. Bake pie shell 5 minutes; set aside. Reduce oven to 375 F. In blender or food processor, puree cherimoya chunks until smooth. Whisk in egg yolks, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt until blended. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites (electric mixer on high) just until soft peaks form. Fold whites into cherimoya mixture until no streaks of white remain (do not stir). Pour filling into crust. Place in oven; bake 35-40 minutes or until filling is set, and knife inserted halfway between center and edge of filling comes out clean. Cool; refrigerate. Serve wedges topped with sweetened whipped cream. Makes one 10-inch deep-dish pie.
Source: Frieda’s, Inc.