There are quite a few subtropical fruits being grown up here in the north now- it is now quite normal to have a fruiting banana palm in your backyard!
Cherimoyas, cousin of the custard apple, also do well.
The cherimoya is a ‘back to front’ tree, having its leaves in winter, and none in summer. A beautiful, medium sized tree, they are nice to have to look at, as well as being useful. There is a catch though! It appears that only old trees will self-pollinate, so to get the delicious fruit from young trees a bit of work is required. They are well worth the effort, producing their green heart shaped fruit, through July, August and September when there is not much variety around.
I was interested to find out that the seeds have a use as well in the Islands they pulverise them and make a hair shampoo that is great for getting rid of nits.
Cherimoyas are a well balanced food, containing fibre, minerals, vitamins, protein and only a little fat; the sugar content gives sustained energy, thus this fruit is a great food for everyone, especially babies and convalescents.
They taste of fruit salad, with white flesh and black pips, and are a great addition to any meal. Eat them raw by cutting in half, and using a spoon to scoop the flesh out.
They are delicious as a sauce for pork, curry, and chicken dishes and with muesli, yoghurt or ice cream.
To remove seeds: remove pulp and mash with potato masher- seeds can then be picked out with ease.
1 large cherimoya
2 egg whites
1 chopped sprig of mint
1 lemon, grated and juiced
Remove seeds from cherimoya, blend. Beat egg whites. Fold together fruit, eggwhite, lemon juice, rind and mint. Spoon into dessert dishes and chill. Before serving, decorate with a rosette of cherimoya seeds.
1 pkt. Gingernuts
125 g melted butter.
Mix together, press into tray- put under grill for about 15 mins.
250 g cream cheese
½ cup castor or icing sugar
1 tin evaporated milk (beaten when cold)
3 tsp. gelatine dissolved in ½ cup boiling water
½ lemon, juiced.
1 large cherimoya
For more information take a look at Ginny’s portfolio page – you can also buy a copy of her book !