The Canistel: I Am the Eggfruit
|October 23, 2012||Posted by Guest under Cooking, Produce, Recipes|
Guest post by Gretchen Schmidt of Edible South Florida
These round or spindle-shaped orange-yellow fruits may turn up in your farmers market as a vivid novelty, tasting like a dense, less-moist cooked sweet potato or pumpkin. The canistel (Pouteria campechiana), a member of the Sapotaceae family, has a few shiny, hard freestone seeds, a thin peel and vivid golden-yellow flesh. According to Fruits of Warm Climates by Julia F. Morton, canistels are found wild in southern Mexico and parts of Central America; it’s cultivated in the Caribbean and southern Florida and the Keys where it thrives in subtropical or tropical climates.
When you buy canistels, they may not be ripe. Store them at room temperature for a few days to a week until they soften but before they become mushy. You can refrigerate canistel for several days, or freeze ripe pulp for future use.
Ripe canistels have a texture similar to hard-boiled egg yolk and a rich golden color. They benefit greatly from injection of an assertive flavor. Rum, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple, and even lime add dimension to the fruit’s bland sweetness. Add pureed flesh to ice cream mix, or used in a smoothie blended with milk, sugar and flavoring.
Instead of pumpkin pie this holiday season, why not try canistel? This cream cheese-custard pie is a spicy and rich complement to a holiday meal. For more recipes using Florida fruits and vegetables, visit ediblesouthflorida.com.
Makes 6 3-inch tarts or 1 9-inch pie
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2-4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups ripe canistel flesh
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional: Unsweetened whipped cream
Make pastry: Combine flour, salt and butter in food processor fitted with steel blade. Add ice water, drop by drop, until mixture looks like fine cornmeal and stays together when you squeeze a bit between your fingertips. Turn mixture out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, flatten and chill for at least one hour. Roll out on lightly floured board to 1/8 thickness. Line tart pans or pie plate with pastry. For tarts, fold dough over on sides to make double thickness; for a pie, fold top edge over and crimp decoratively. Chill while preparing filling.
Preheat oven to 425º F. Combine cream cheese and sugar in mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add canistel, vanilla and spices and beat to combine. Pour into unbaked pastry-lined pans or pie pan and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 350º and bake tarts for 25 to 30 minutes, pie for 35 to 45 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers.
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