Malaysian Monday 92: Agar-agar Nona (Custard apple agar-agar).

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Friday everyone. It’s practically the weekend!

 And only a day until the end of the month, so hopefully you’ve gotten those posts in to Shannon from Just as Delish for the Muhibbah Malaysian Monday round up.

I couldn’t let the month end without making a contribution to the “cause”, so please have a look at these Nona “jellies”.

Look! They're purple! Of course I'll buy some..

But before we begin: I posted about the Custard Apple some time ago and received comments/ emails from people telling me, “that’s not a custard apple, that’s a xyz”. Let me just say that we call this fruit Buah Nona in Malaysia (buah= fruit, and not to be confused with Buah Noni, an entirely different fruit).  I have also been using the term Custard Apple since I was a kid, and both in Malaysia and in Australia (Sydney at least), it is labelled as a custard apple. Wikipedia calls it a  Sugar Apple, but mentions the different names it is also known by. So, if you know this fruit by a different name, relax, it still tastes the same. ‘Mkay?

Right. Let’s get back to these agar-agar. They are really quick to make (surprised?) and you can substitute almost any fruit for the custard apple because unlike gelatin, agar-agar doesn’t seem to be affected by the type of fruit you use. I have however seen info to the contrary (on the interwebs), advising against using kiwifruit, pineapple, strawberry etc, but I have never had a problem with setting these fruits (see this post. Admittedly, I did cook some of the pineapple, but the rest was fresh, and the kiwifruit was fresh)). If in doubt, just use a bit more agar-agar.

Out of curiosity, if you have ever had problems (or not) setting these acid fruit, can you let me know? I’m keen to find out if the info disseminated on those websites are just “cut and paste” regurgitations, or through the result of proper cooking and experimentation.

Anyway, enough rambling. Suffice to say, these agar-agar were very well received and I would definitely make them again.

Here’s how I did it:

2 small custard apple
Juice from 1 small lime

Remove the seeds from the custard apple. I found the easiest way to do this is to squash the pulp in a sieve over a bowl. Some of the pulp will fall through but the rest remains is strands. Pick the seeds out.

While I was doing this, I realised that the pulp was oxidising and turning brown. So I squeezed a lime over all the pulp. (I had been toying with the idea of using something to cut the sweetness of the custard apple anyway).

Set the pulp aside while you prepare the agar-agar.

For the agar-agar:

Approximately half a 10g packet of agar-agar powder (about 5g)
500 ml water
90g sugar (adjust to taste)

Prepare some small agar-agar moulds or one big mould. No need to line them or anything, I just give mine a quick rinse and set it on a plate to catch the drips. Spoon equal amounts of the custard apple into the bottom of each mould.

Boil the water and when it has come to a rolling boil, stir in the agar-agar and sugar and stir until they both dissolve. Let it come back to the boil and if everything has dissolved, take it off the heat.

Ladle the agar-agar into the moulds, let it cool a little and then set it in the fridge. (Agar will actually set at room temperature but the dessert tastes better when its cold, so chill for at least 4-6 hours before serving).


I’m sending this to Shannon (shannoncclim(at)gmail(dot)com) who will be hosting the Muhibbah Malaysian Monday round-up next week.  Suresh (3 Hungry Tummies) and I are extremely grateful to Shannon for helping us out at this busy time!

ps- unfortunately, I missed the Daring Bakers posting schedule again, but I might just surprise you next week :)

Have a great weekend!


Lisa said... are things in Singapore? I figured you were getting settled in for a while, but I just popped in to see if you were back to blogging, and here you are! That said, I've actually heard of and 'held' a custard apple - didn't taste it, but it counts as something, right? LOL I hope you and you're family are doing well and loving Singapore - it sure loks pretty!

grace said...

agar-agar is a little bit of a miracle, isn't it! what a magical ingredient, and i LOVE how you've used it!

dessert girl said...

Lovely! Are these open in the middle? So that maybe something could go in the center? I don't know what...but something! :-)

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

lama tak buat agar-agar. Teringin pula nak makan after looking at your yummy agar-agar.

Shannon @ JustAsDelish said...

you are so creative in using buah nona, this is one of my favourite. but usually I just couldn't get enough of them to have the thought of using them in cooking :D