Canistel is a fruit native to southern Mexico and cultivated in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. It’s commonly known also as eggfruit, because of its flesh that is bright egg yolk-yellow colour and when ripe, is smooth and custardy, similar to a hard-boiled yolk.
The canistel tree produces large, ovate fruit that grows up to 7 cm in length and contains up to six large, brown seeds. The fruit is astringent when underripe, and is best when ripened on the tree. Unfortunately, canistels do not fare well once they have been picked and will start deteriorating quickly.
Luckily, the canistel tree is a hardy plant that is not difficult to cultivate in the home garden. It copes well with frost, is wind resistant and tolerant of sandy or limestone soils.
How to Use Canistel Fruit
The sweet, mousse-like flesh of the canistel makes a great sugar substitute in many recipes.
The most popular way to use canistel is in an eggfruit nog: simply peel a ripe canistel fruit, remove the seeds and combine the flesh in a blender along with milk, sugar, a touch of vanilla extract, and a pinch of grated nutmeg. Blend until smooth.
Canistel also works great in custards, ice cream, spreads, pie fillings, and baked into bread, cakes, and pancakes. Or try it simply blended in with some almond milk, oat milk, or regular old milk for a satisfying smoothie. Lime and honey pair well with the soft notes of canistel, so add a touch according to your taste.
Canistel was also used in an incredible 71-ingredient cocktail to celebrate the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow! Each ingredient was specially selected to represent each of the competing countries in the Games. Read more about it here: