This page provides answers to the frequently asked questions on the Custard Apples Australia Facebook page.
Q. When are Australian custard apples in season?
A: Australian custard apples are in season throughout autumn and winter. The season officially kicks off on the Easter long weekend and extends until September. QLD fruit comes into season first, followed by NSW fruit.
Q: Where can I buy Australian custard apples?
A: Custard apples are available at major retailers such as Coles and Woolworths as well as good greengrocers around the country. If you’re having difficulties finding them, ask your local greengrocer to order some in their next market delivery.
Q. Sometimes the custard apples I find in supermarkets don’t look very nice?
A: If you can’t see nice and firm custard apples at your local store, ask the produce manager if they have a fresh batch of custard apples stored out the back. This can ensure the produce you’re buying is as fresh as possible. Alternatively, get to know your local greengrocer and ask when they receive their market deliveries so you can buy them extra fresh.
Q: Why are custard apples expensive?
A: The price of custard apples will always be lower when it’s in peak season. At the very start of the season, you may find it’s slightly higher, but it will come down as more fruit hits stores. Ultimately, their cost is dependent on supply and with limited growers and specific sub-tropical growing conditions they can be a bit dearer than other fruits. Considering their large size, delicious taste and great health benefits, we think they are worth it!
Q: Can you freeze custard apples to save them for later/ off-season?
A: You can freeze the whole fruit but it can be messy when it thaws, so they’re best frozen as a puree. Remove the skin and seeds, blend to a purée, add lime juice (10mls to 1 litre) and freeze. It tastes different to fresh custard apple but is very nice and means you can save your custard apple for later.
Q: Can you cook custard apples?
A: Custard apples are best eaten fresh and cooking at higher temperatures can dull their flavour. If you wish to add custard apples to cooked dishes, they are best stirred through at the end.
Q: I live in South Australia and can’t find custard apples in shops very easily, what should I do?
A: Limited fruit is distributed to South Australia unfortunately. Ask your local greengrocer to place a custard apples order with the wholesale markets to source in season custard apples.
Q: Can I come to a custard apples farm and pick custard apples myself?
A: Our farmers pick custard apples themselves to ensure high-quality fruit at the right stage of ripeness is picked; they don’t encourage visitors to pick fruit themselves. If you’re looking for a first hand farming experience, Tropical Fruit World at Cudgen (north eastern NSW) is a tourist facility that hosts farm tours and custard apples are grown there.
Q: Are Australian custard apples available in Singapore
A: Yes, a small amount of Australian custard apples are exported to Singapore.
Q: When growing custard apples at home, what fertiliser should I feed it?
A: Fertiliser for a backyard tree differs to fertiliser used in an orchard. We recommend you enquire with your local fruit tree nursery to find the best product for your needs.
Q: Where do Australian custard apples grow?
A: Our custard apple growers are found along the sub-tropical and tropical coast of the eastern seaboard, from the Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland to as far south as Lismore in Northern NSW.
Q: What is ‘spotting bug’ and how do I get rid of it?
A: Spotting bug is a major pest of custard apples during fruit set. Once the weather cools down it is not as much of a problem. Growers monitor for the bug and identify “hot spots” in their orchards. These hot spots are checked regularly and the bug captured if possible. Insecticide sprays are only used if the problem is bad.