During one of my market visits, I noticed a green fruit in the shape of a ball which had hard skin protruding in small segments - it reminded me of an army grenade. A favourite of my wife's as a child, it was my first time tasting it and I was amazed by it's juicy sweet flesh and vanilla undertones.
Custard apple is native of the tropical Americas and West Indies. European traders, mainly the Spanish, later introduced it to Asia.
The custard apple is known by many names, such as the Mexican name “atemoya”, under which it may still be found in Bengali, Nepal and Burma, or “atis” as it is known in the Philippines. However across India and to the rest of the world, it is known as “Custard Apple”.
Custard apple consists of fragrant and sweet, flesh and skin. The colour of the flesh ranges from a creamy white to a light yellow and taste like custard (surprise surprise!). The body of the fruit is soft and slightly grainy, and the slippery flesh covers hard, shiny, poisonous seeds.
It has many culinary uses and is a very versatile fruit. It is commonly used in puree form but can also be used in smoothies, syrups, jams and marmalade. Custard apple sauce also pairs surprisingly well with various meats. In cocktails, custard apple pairs well with Gin and Rum and plays well with other fruits and condiments such as peach, pear, pineapple, cherry, chocolate, vanilla and even spices.
Custard apple is high in energy, an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese as well as many other vitamins B.
Here is a refreshing and energetic beverage for you to sip on.
Cocktail Recipe - Batida Atis 45 ml Dark rum (Diplomatico Mantuano) 45 ml fresh Custard apple 25ml milk 5 ml vanilla syrup 5 ml citrus of your choice (lemon, orange, grapefruit)
1. Combine all ingredients in glass over crushed ice, gently stir. 2. Add straw and garnish with a tropical looking flower.
3. Serve it in a wine glass.