CSA Show and Tell (Mid-January): Canistel Custard


My canistel from last week’s share were finally ripe, so on Sunday I made canistel custard using a recipe from the Rare Fruit Council.

I learned that eating unripe canistel fruit can give you a stomachache when I re-read an old Redland Organics newsletter,.  Apparently, they exude a milky white latex when they are unripe.  You have to wait until canistel are soft and squishy.

The only change I made to the recipe was I added a tablespoon of cinnamon to the custard before baking, to capitalize on the pumpkin-like flavor of the fruit.

I also added the salt, which the recipe mentions in the ingredients but never mentions in the actual instructions.

Photos by David Samayoa

If you like pumpkins and/or creme brulee, then you will enjoy this dessert.  I need a little more practice with the whole custard-making/bain-marie process, since my custard separated once baked.  The eggy layer ended up on top and the canistel on the bottom.  I’d also like the texture to be more solid, like a flan.  It looked attractive in layers, however.  If anyone has advice for me, I’d love to learn!

Here are some more canistel recipes I found, but haven’t yet tried:

Florida Food Fare/University of Florida-IFAS – There’s another recipe for canistel custard here, as well as one for canistel pie.

Redland Organics Newsletter: Canistel Soup – This is an intriguing one by Chef Rachel O’Kaine.

Tinkering with Dinner – Bill gives us a straight up canistel-molasses custard pie recipe and then throws a curve ball with a recipe for broiled canistel with avocade mayonnaise.  Apparently, this is a popular suggestion on the web.

I am curious to learn how the roasted vegetable soup with canistel goes for the folks at Our Half Box.

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12 Responses to “CSA Show and Tell (Mid-January): Canistel Custard”

  1. January 19, 2010 at 9:41 am #

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  2. January 19, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    I still have two unripe canistel. This weekend, I folded one into a batch of gnocchi dough, which is waiting in the freezer for a quick dinner this week. And I’m wavering between custard and fritters when the last of the fruit finally ripens.

  3. January 19, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    More specifically, the suggestion I found repeated was canistel, optionally roasted lightly, with mayo and a spritz of lemon or lime. It seems to have originated with Perdue’s horticultural website and then swiped by a bunch of reference pages. I seem to be the first to actually make it and I messed with the recipe significantly by doing a long roast.

    That said, it turned out better than I expected and I think there is lots of untapped potential for savory applications.

  4. January 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    this fruit truly makes a tropical version of pumpkin pie!! i miss canistels…and nispero!!

  5. January 20, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    ‘num num…

    I like to add a little condensed milk. Keeps it moist, and it’s more stable than milk or heavy cream in this instance.

    So great finally meeting you in person last night!!

  6. trina
    January 20, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    Hey Caroline!

    Nice to meet you. I can’t believe I just discovered your blog. You have some amazing looking recipes there! The gnocchi sounds quite intriguing! I guess I’ll have to take a look at your blog later to see how the gnocchi and fritters/custard turned out.

  7. trina
    January 20, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Holly, thanks for the suggestion. I will try it next time I make the custard. It was great to meet you but I hope to actually get to have a conversation next time. Somehow, I got swept away just as we were starting to speak. And then you were gone! :) Until next time!

  8. January 21, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    wow i love the canistel custard recipe very much

  9. January 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    thanks for the recipe it is so delicious

  10. February 18, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Thank you for sharing this! I can’t wait to try it.
    By the way, do you pick up your share at a Home in Miami Shores?
    Because we take part in the same Crop Share and pick up there.

    Thank’s again for sharing!

  11. trina
    February 20, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi Jasmine,

    There are various pick up sites. I’m not enrolled in a CSA this year, as I’ve been visiting two great farmers markets near my home:the South Miami and Pinecrest Gardens farmers markets. Thanks for reading!


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