Time for your annual fruit and veggie update brought to you by a Canadian who used to live on a farm now living in Australia with a man who used to have a farm. We may be farm-less but we have years of wisdom between us.
THIS is a custard apple: Note its un-apple like appearance. That is because it is not an apple.
THIS is information about a custard apple from a farmer currently in possession of a farm.
The Weekend Edition (you can read it even if it is not the weekend, just another example of people not saying what they mean)
“Custard Apple Recipes” is not a search request for some other apple hollowed out and filled with some form of prepared or wanna be custard. Neither is it a cake or some other dessert containing custard or apples. It is certainly NOT an apple anything with custard poured over it. It is a recipe using custard apples. Please don’t try to interpret my words for me, listen to what I am saying.
Today I attempted to make custard apple muffins. Normally I just eat the fruit raw but hubby has planted fruit trees which I did agree to – technically – but without any clear understanding there would be an expectation that we personally consume every piece of fruit ever grown. I negotiated so that some of that fruit to be given away to friends (who now pull their blinds when they see us drive up, or run the other way when they see us coming, or have blocked us in real life). I then renegotiated that we give them to strangers. I still have to contend with things like 20 lbs of custard apples being dropped on the kitchen counter with the comment, “These are all ripe now and need to be eaten right away.” THEN, for the next 3 days I am constantly reminded that I have not eaten all of them yet and he does not want to have to just throw them away.
Hence the reason for today’s lesson.
I had to find some recipe that used a heck of a lot of custard apples.
There aren’t any.
Mainly because the people in Google are busying themselves with the apple, peach, and plum recipe requests and don’t have time for this nonsense. I have asked Australians and their eyes glaze over and they tell me stories about how they used to eat them as kids – even stealing them from neighbour’s trees – which I would like to point out does not help them to overcome the impression most of the rest of the world still holds of them that all Australians are a bunch of thieves and criminals that the English did not want. But then they are quick to point out that they don’t need any, “right now.” Not only does “tomorrow” never come, neither does “right now.”
With apples, you core and cut them into slices. You may peel it if you are a whiny baby and don’t want to put in the extra effort it takes to chew the healthiest and most nutritionally part of the apple but I am not here to judge. A custard apple is a whole new ball game. This fruit you cut in two and you are confronted with a goey mess that is filled with lots of segments, most of which contain a big black seed. I screamed and threw the apple across the counter and clocked my mother in law in the head the first time I found one in my custard apple because it looked like a big black beetle and I swear it was moving towards me. Completely understandable.
Normally you grab a spoon and begin to eat this fruit. You spit out the seeds you do not see that end up in your mouth. Think watermelon eating except these puppies could take an eye out. You will think you can dig out the seeds with a spoon and put them to one side but you will spend hours doing this. Then you will stir the pulp and realize there are still dozens of seeds in there. You can pick them out gently but you eventually realize you have to test with your fingers to see if you missed any, and you will have so you will have to chuck the spoon and dig through the pulp in the fruit with both hands squishing the seeds out.
Once I had my pulp, I had to measure how much I had and whether I needed to quadruple the recipe and plan to be eating muffins for the next two years. I almost got distracted looking up ways to preserve muffins and the many ways to present them as Christmas and Birthday gifts.
I had more than the recipe required and so I did what I always do, I got creative. This is the recipe that I found that I decided to work with.
This is the recipe I ended up doing.
I decided to go with a crumb topping because people usually only eat the tops of the muffins anyway and people will forgive a lousy muffin for a mouthful of crumb. If you can’t cook you need handy diversionary tactics like crumb topping.
This is how it turned out.
Photographing stuff is not easy. The woman in the store was not going to let me borrow the tray for a moment and I think I burned the car seats on the way to the store. Also the mall is really crabby about wearing jammies and aprons. Evidently there is a dress standard.