We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Custard Apple?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A custard apple is a heart shaped tropical fruit native to Latin America. It has creamy flesh which is remarkably similar to custard in texture, and tends to be sweet and mildly flavored. In addition to Latin America, the fruit is also cultivated in many parts of Asia, where it is eaten along with other close relatives such as the cherimoya. The fruit can be difficult to find at a grocer's, because it is generally viewed as inferior when compared with cherimoyas and other fruits in the Annonaceae family.

Technically, a custard apple, bullock's heart, or sitaphal is known specifically as Annona reticulata, a reference to the divided compartments which appear in many cultivars of the fruit. A cherimoya is a different species, A. Cherimoya. Other popular fruits in the Annonaceae family include A. quamosa, also known as sugar apples or sweet sops, and A. muricata or sour sops. The fruits all look very similar, but they have different, distinctive flavors, with sweet sop and cherimoya being preferred to custard apples in many cases.

Like its relatives, the fruit grows on a spreading tree with large leaves. The leaves typically overhang the fruit, protecting it from the heat. A true custard apple tends to be knobbly, rather than merely scaly like a cherimoya, and when sliced open it reveals several compartments of creamy flesh and medium sized seeds. The seeds are discarded before consumption, or they are spit out as the flesh is eaten.

There are an assortment of uses for this fruit. Many people eat it out of hand, or mix it with fruit salads. It can also be turned into a distinctive fruit sorbet, added to cake filling, or turned into a chutney or side dish for spicy dishes such as curries and barbecue. Squeezing lemon juice over the cut fruit will help to prevent browning. Like other tropical fruits, custard apples prefer warm, humid climates, and they are sometimes used ornamentally in areas like Florida.

The internal color of a custard apple can range from creamy white to reddish pink, depending on the cultivar. Some trees have been developed specifically with the intention of producing particularly sweet, creamy fruit with a rich texture, while wild trees tend to produce inferior fruit. When selecting one to eat, look for an evenly colored specimen which yields slightly when pressed. The ridges of the fruit may be slightly tinged with brown, but the fruit should not appear black, pulpy, or wizened.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon37746 — On Jul 21, 2009

This is *the* fruit!! One custard apple is like a complete meal - tasty and filling. My mother planted me a tree of my own when I was a small child, and I ate custard apples all season for years and years. Sadly, we no longer live at that house- but I know the tree is still there.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.