Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Peculiar Fruit

Cherimoya or Custard Apple

Renowned as the king of fruit

Cherimoya  is a sub tropical fruit. We selected the Fino de Jete to taste. The flesh is white and creamy, with numerous large, dark brown seeds. The flavor is a blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach and strawberry. There is acidity to balance the sweetness.

Cherimoya is not frost hardy. They are cold hardy to 30 degrees. A balanced organic fertilizer is best, fertilizing once a month. If growing in pots, every few years, trim the roots and replace the deficient soil. Makes a great house plant.

Our Method Of Sow

  • Full sun, south-facing
  • Water slowly and deeply, every 15-20 days during growing season
  • Fertilize with fish emulsion every 6 weeks or with 10-8-6 fertilizer
  • Allow for a full 4 month dormancy- do not water at that time
  • Must hand pollinate: remove pollen from flowers tan anthers that are covered with white pollen with tweezers. Paint pollen on a mature stigma of another flower with small, soft paint brush. Stigma is a white sticky structure inside the flower




Cheimoya Ice Cream


4-6 ripe cherimoya


  • Scoop flesh into a food processor, discarding rind & seeds. Process until paste consistency
  • Place in freezer until frozen solid- overnight
  • Remove from freezer, rough chop, re-process in food processor, adding 1 teaspoon of water at a time, until scoopable.
  • Scoop into bowls 

Kiwano Horned Melon

Vining Annual

Skin is yellow orange

Flesh is green with pulp covered seeds

 This native of South Africa, is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zone 10 and up. Because the plant is a member of the cucumber family it can be grown anywhere that you would grow melons. If using a container, allow for 4-5 gallons of soil per plant. 

Our Method Of Sow

  • Sow seeds when evening temperatures are consistently above 57 degrees Fahrenheit, 18-24 inches between seeds: 6 feet between rows
  • Plant 1/2 inch deep in full sun, with a trellis 
  • Water deeply, slowly in morning and afternoon, once germinated and established
  • Fertilize with 4-8-5 or 6-10-10
  • Apply straw around base of plant when soil temperature reaches 75 degrees Fahrenheit and above


 African Horned Melon tastes like a mix of a cucumber, kiwi,  banana and a bitter melon.


Horned Melon Sauce


1 Horned melon
3 T Lime juice
1 Green onion, minced
1 T Vegetable oil
1/4 t cumin
1 Garlic clove

  • Cut the melon into halves lengthwise. 
  • Scoop out the pulp. Combine the pulp with lemon juice, green onion, oil, cumin & garlic in a food processor
  • Serve with beef, chicken or pork chops 

Prickly Pear Cactus

Thrives in hot, dry desert: growing 3-20 feet tall 
ripe fruits are purple, red or yellow

Fruit is eaten raw, as juice, candy or jelly 

Our Method Of Sow

  • Sow seeds when evening temperatures are consistently above 45 degrees.
  • Plant 1" apart in seed trays. Pressing the seed into the soil and covering with fine layer of soil.
  • Mist the soil surface and cover with lid or cover with place plastic with rubber band.
  • Place tray in a sunny window. 
  • Best soil/air temperatures is 70 degrees, be sure to vent if heat builds excessively. 
  • Cacti that turn yellow need more light. Brown or red cacti are receiving too much light.
  • Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) to encourage pad growth. Use low nitrogen, (0-10-10) to encourage flowers and fruit growth. 


Prickly Pear cactus fruit has a taste that is similar to raspberries or watermelon.


Crimson Prickly Pear Sauce


2 1/2 pounds (16) fresh prickly pears (tunas)
1/3 c sugar, plus a little more to your taste
1 T, fresh lime juice
1 T, orange or lemon juice

  • Cut a 1/4 inch slice off both ends of the prickly pears
  • Make 1/2 inch cut down the side of each side to carefully peel off the rind
  • Rough chop the tunas, remove juice with a juicer or puree in a food processor, then press through a fine strainer to remove seeds. Process should render 3 cups of juice.
  • In a medium size (3 qt.) saucepan, combine 2 cups of the puree with 1/3 cup of sugar, simmer over med-high heat, stir frequently. Should reduce to 1 cup.
  • Cool. Combine cooked mixture with remaining 1 cup of uncooked puree in a small bowl. Taste and season with lime juice, orange/lemon juice and additional sugar as needed.
Serve with ice cream or cake. If covered and refrigerated, the sauce will remain delicious up to 1 week. Sauce can be frozen.

No comments:

Post a Comment