The noble cherimoya has been nicknamed “the ice cream fruit” for its creamy, sweet, custardy flesh that tastes just like delicious ice cream when it’s ripe.
I fell in love with it a few months ago, when introduced. And I wasn’t just temporarily infatuated; I fell hard. Now I watch for it in the market and at the farmers market, and it leaps into my basket.
March through June is the best time of the year for cherimoya, with the peak of the California season in April and May.
That means the time is right to show off my favorite new way to put this special fruit to work. Riffing on the ice cream moniker, I decided to just go ahead and make ice cream out of it. With its natural sweetness and texture, there is no need for any extra sugar, dairy or other additions. Just ripen, puree, freeze, whirl and go!
In the parlance of today’s food landscape, that makes it vegan, raw, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and with no added sugar.
Recipe: Cherimoya Ice Cream
- 4-6 ripe cherimoya fruit
- Scoop flesh from ripe cherimoya into the bowl of a food processor, discarding the peel and large seeds. Whirl into a paste. Scrape paste onto a plastic plate and place plate in freezer until cherimoya is frozen solid, at least 4-5 hours, or overnight.
- When ready to make ice cream, remove cherimoya from freezer, break it up into pieces by hand, and place frozen pieces in a food processor. Whirl into a thick paste, adding a tablespoon or more of water (a bit at a time), until it resembles ice cream. Do not over mix or it will melt and get slushy.
- Scoop into bowls and enjoy!
- Serves 4-6, depending on appetites.
For more info, here is what I wrote earlier about cherimoya.
Banana-Cherimoya Ice Cream: Freeze slices of overripe banana and add frozen banana to the frozen cherimoya while you are whirling it into ice cream. This is a fantastic combination of tropical flavors!
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Diet type: Vegan
Diet tags: Gluten free, Raw
Number of servings (yield): 6
Samples of cherimoya were provided by Melissa’s Produce.