We are very lucky to have some really good neighbours. The family over the back fence are especially wonderful and share so many things. Business advice, snake sighting updates, their chickens’s fresh laid eggs, recipes, jams and a lot of fresh produce. They have a very productive mango tree and banana tree and we share a passionfruit vine that will not be tamed. In return we have given over rights to our papayas (tried them on the children – not interested) and the children try to stop themselves throwing stuff in their rock pool. I don’t think the neighbours are getting a fair deal.
Most recently we were gifted a box of custard apples from over the back fence. They ripen pretty quickly, so I had to think quick. They are delicious, but a bit fiddly to work with. They have a strange texture for a fruit and a delicate, sweet flavour that can conflict with or be overpowered with other fruits. You need to remember the custard part of its name and match it with things you might match with custard. Cake, pastry, berries, lemon but not orange, chocolate, vanilla and so on. They make a sweet, thick smoothie as a substitute for bananas, mixed with berries, nuts, milk of your choice. And they really shine in a teacake. I went straight to the source and converted a recipe from Custard Apples Australia. Well, I thought they should know what they’re doing.
Prepare your cake tin. I used a bundt tin, because I have a thing for uniced cakes in bundt shape. Also it takes less time to cook and if buttered well enough you won’t leave half the cake in the tin. But butter away at whatever tin takes your fancy. The original recipe suggested a loaf tin, which brings to mind that this is a possible banana bread substitute. Like banana bread, the more fruit you use the moister the cake. If you are not sure of your tin, line with baking paper as well.
Add 120g raw/rapadura sugar to Thermomix bowl and a quarter of a vanilla pod. Chop/grind Speed 9 for 10 seconds. Leave it in for the next step, it will be okay with a bit of a warming. Take your butter (home made I hope!) out of the fridge and measure 125g into the bowl. Soften it up a bit on 50 degrees for 40 seconds on Speed 4. If you don’t have vanilla pods, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract at this point. Insert butterfly with a flick of the wrist and pull gently to make sure its locked on to the blades. Mix on Speed 4 for 15 seconds, then add 2 eggs, one at a time through the hole in the lid while still on Speed 4. Once all is well combined turn the dial off and move on to the custard apples. Try to make sure you don’t mix for too long, 20-30 seconds all up should be more than enough.
Cut your custard apples down the centre. To remove the innards you can use a spoon, but I found it more efficient to just separate the flesh from the seeds with my hands. Do this close to the Thermomix so you can just throw the seedless, skinless flesh into your cake mix. Use about 3-4 custard apples, depending on size and amount you snack on while removing the seeds. Once you are done, wash your hands and add 200g flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Mix again, Speed 4 for 10 seconds. Check if all has combined. If need be, get the spatula involved and scrape flour off the sides and mix again for 5 seconds. Pour into prepared tin.
Bake at 160 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. My oven seems to be fast, hussy of a thing. So it was 45 minutes. Stick a skewer in at around 40 minutes and check how its going. Its done when the skewer comes out clean. Let it cool for a bit in its tin, before turning out. While it is still warm sprinkle with some sugar and a little ground cinnamon.