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Tuesday, February 26, 2008 

The Wierd Looking Fruit

with the delicious insides. Mark Twain once called the cherimoya, "deliciousness itself."

Originally uploaded by rosidae.

To truly describe a Cherimoya to anyone who hasn't run into it before, it's difficult. They look like a fruit disguised as an armadillo...but they taste like a banana/pineapple yogurt. Just very odd...and very expensive. We have several farms here in the area that grow these little whacky globs of goodness so they are available readily here and pop up at the Farmer's Markets from January to June.

Apparently it is available elsewhere in the world...but it is known by a wide variety of names...

Cherimoya (New Zealand, South America, USA)
– Custard Apple (UK, Australia)
– Chirimolla, Chirimorrinon (Venezuela)
– Graviola (Brazil)
– Poox (Mexico)
– Pac, tzumux (Guatemala)
– Anona poshte, anona blanca (El Salvador)
– Tukib (Belize)
– Cachiman la Chine (Haiti)
– Anone (France)
– Atis (Philippines)
– Sasalapa (Cook Is.)
– Ice-cream fruit (Pacific Is.)

Cherimoya Crème Brulée

4 servings

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar (divided use)
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
Pinch salt
4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons puréed cherimoya
1/2 teaspoon minced orange zest

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large saucepan, combine cream, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla bean and salt. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat, remove from heat and steep, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk yolks in separate large bowl. Remove vanilla bean from cream mixture. Add cream mixture to yolks in a very thin stream, whisking constantly. Stir in cherimoya purée and orange zest.

Divide mixture among 4 (8-ounce) ramekins. Place ramekins in a larger pan. Add enough water to larger pan to come three-quarters of the way up sides of the ramekins. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake in middle of preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until set. Remove ramekins from water and cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Up to 45 minutes before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar evenly over the top of each. Caramelize sugar until dark golden brown with either a culinary torch or by placing 6 to 8 inches below broiler. If using broiler, watch carefully to prevent burning.

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