Farm Fresh Pick of the Week: Cherimoya

Friday, March 23, 2012 10:30

Sweet Treats for Spring

by: Casey Pukl

I’ll be the first to admit that when choosing this week’s ingredient, I had absolutely no idea what a cherimoya was. All I knew as of Monday was that it was coming into season here in San Diego, and it was a fruit. I was even more intrigued when I asked Sous Chef Kristen Williams exactly what a cherimoya was, and she responded that it could be best described as a mixture between a pear and banana flavor with a hint more acidity.

The cherimoya is also referred to as the “custard apple” for its sherbet-like texture. When ripe, the skin on the cherimoya is a bright green color, and the fruit will be slightly soft (a la avocado). If you purchase your cherimoyas when they are still firm, leave them at room temperature to ripen, then transfer them to your refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Most often, the fruit is eaten directly out of the skin with a spoon.

For this week’s farm fresh recipes, Sous Chef Kristen Williams and beverage manager Marc Canzoneri have created two delicious sweet cherimoya based treats for spring.

Cherimoya Bread Pudding with Cherimoya Creme Anglaise & Candied Lime Zest

While I usually would consider bread pudding to be a dessert that’s normally on the heavier side of the spectrum, this version is refreshingly light and the flavors are crisp. To make this dessert, Kristen recommends using a very basic bread pudding recipe. Her recipe usually begins with 10 eggs in proportion to 1 quart of half and half. Blend the pulp of one cherimoya into the egg mixture, and then soak pieces of a baguette or french bread in the mixture. Add a little bit of vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, and any other spices you’d like!

While the bread pudding is baking, you can make some candied lime zest and cherimoya creme anglaise. To make the candied lime zest, cut your lime peel into thin strips. You’ll then simmer the peels in a mixture of sugar and water for about 15 minutes. When you remove the lime peels from the mixture, lay them out on a sheet of parchment paper, and let them harden.

Creme anglaise is very simple to make, and is generally made of a mixture of sugar, egg yolks, and hot milk. While it is commonly flavored with vanilla, for this dessert, you can flavor it with a bit of cherimoya juice.

Once your bread pudding is finished baking, serve it warm. Top with the creme anglaise and candied lime zest, and you’ll be zinging into spring!

Cherimoya Daiquiri
Creator: Marc Canzoneri

Cherimoya Puree
Agave Nectar
Fresh Squeezed Lemon and Lime Juice
Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
White Rum
Splash of Pineapple Juice

Instructions: Combine all ingredients except pineapple juice in shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into glass, top with a splash of pineapple juice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Talk about a beautiful and classic looking cocktail— this drink is a fantastic option not only for those intimate dinner parties you’ll be throwing on your patios, but this drink can be made in larger batches, making it a great option for larger gatherings as well!

While many people think of a daiquiri as that frozen concoction with an umbrella on top, the daiquiri was originally just defined as a family of drinks that include rum, lime juice, and some sort of sweetener. Over time, the recipe evolved to include several shaken and stirred variations of the drink as well as blended versions that included various fruits. All are technically still in the daiquiri family!

We hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s recipes! Stay tuned for next week’s Farm Fresh Pick!