Custard apple originates from the West Indies but is now grown in all tropical regions.
Custard apples are usually eaten fresh as a snack or dessert. Open the fruit and spoon out the white flesh which is soft, juicy and has a sweet taste.
The name custard apple is sometimes used for sugar apple (sweetsop) which actually is a different but related fruit species. Because of its shape the custard apple is also called Ox heart or Bull’s heart.
Cœur de bœuf
Basic information and facts
Custard apple originates from the West Indies.
Custard apple is found throughout the tropics.
Evergreen or deciduous:
Leaves are elongated and lanceolate, about 10 to 15 cm long and 5 to 10 cm wide.
Custard apple fruits are 7 to 12 cm long. The fruits have a round but rather irregular shape, sometimes heart-shaped. The surface is reticulated. When ripe the fruits can be greenish brown or yellowish. Some trees have rather purple colored fruits. The white flesh is soft and sweet.
Climate and weather:
Custard apple prefers a warm humid climate.
Hand pollination is used to get better fruit setting.
Custard apple trees can be 5 to 10 meters tall.
Spacing (close range)
Spacing (wide range)
Usually propagated by seed. Sometimes inarching, budding or grafting is used.
Mealybugs and fruit bats can be a problem.
Hand pick the fruits when they have lost their green color.
Custard apple is usually eaten fresh as a snack or dessert.
Fresh custard apple
Eat Custard apple as a fresh fruit. Break the fruit in two halves. With a small spoon, eat the delicious soft flesh. There are some smooth seeds; just spit them out.
Custard apple sherbet
5 Custard apples, 75 g Caster sugar, some lemon rind
Boil 300ml water with the sugar. When sugar is dissolved (stir it), reduce the flame and simmer for 10 minutes to prepare a thin syrup. Let it cool down..Take the flesh from the custard apple and remove the seeds (use a sieve). Use a blender to mix the fruit pulp and syrup until smooth. Freeze it for 2 hours, then mash it with with a fork. Freeze it again until firm. Serve in small bowls, garnished with lime rind.
Custard apple smoothie
Remove the seeds from the custard apple. Blend with un-seeded dates. Add a few spoons of honey and blend again with low fat milk. You have a delicious smoothie to start your day after a great run!