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Requested Recipe:


"At the moment the custard-apples are rapidly ripening on our trees, and since not all
of us enjoy them as much, we'll have too much to eat. I was wondering if you would have
a recipe to make wine from them?" Karel de Lange, Brisbane, Australia

Custard Apples (Atemoya)

Custard apples or Atemoya (Annona species hybrid) is a cross between Annona squamosa (Sweetsop) and Annona cherimola, also known as the Cherimoya from the cooler subtropics of the Andes. The name is derived from moya (cherimoya) and Ate, which is the ancient Indian name for Annona squamosa. How this fruit reached ancient India from its native tropical America is unknown. The name Custard Apple can be traced to the British, who inexplicably found it reminiscent of a custard-flavoured apple. Cultivars include the varieties 'African Pride' and 'Pink's Mammoth.' The former produces fruit at a younger age, but the fruit are smaller and contain many more seeds than the latter. The latter have excellent flavor and reportedly can yield a Brix of up to 12 degrees.

Many different species of Annona are cultivated and there are literally dozens of named varieties. This request was specific to "custard apples" but the recipe should work for other Annona species and varieties as well. The main difference will be the sweetness of the fuit and the corresponding amount of sugar to add to the fruit. A starting specific gravity of 1.090 is desired.

Custard Apples

Custard Apples


Bring 1 pint water to boil and dissolve sugar in it completely. Add remaining 3 pints water to it and wait for it to cool. Meanwhile, wash and cut the fruit into wedges, cut these into 1/2 inch pieces with peeling intact, and place pieces in primary container. Sprinkle pectic enzyme over fruit pieces and cover container. When water cools to room temperature, stir in crushed Campden tablet and pour over fruit. Cover and set aside 10-12 hours, then add all remaining ingredients including activated yeast. Cover container and set aside, stirring twice daily. When specific gravity drops below 1.020, strain fruit in nylon straining bag and squeeze gently by hand to extract liquid. Transfer liquid to secondary, top up to within 2 inches of top with water and attach airlock. Rack, top up and reattach airlock after 3 weeks and then every 6 weeks for 3 months. If clear, taste wine for sweetness. If not as sweet as desired, stabilize with 1/2 teaspoon potassium sorbate and 1 crushed and dissolved Campden tablet, sweeten to taste, wait 10 days to ensure no refermentation occurs, and bottle. If wine does not clarify on its own, fine with Bentonite according to its instructions, rack again when clear (7-10 days), and bottle. May taste after 3 months, but improves with age. [Author's own recipe]

My thanks to Karel de Lange of Brisbane, Australia for this request.

This page was updated June 12th, 2003

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