Abiu (Pouteria caimito) is a tropical fruit with caramel flavored flesh. The fruit is typically eaten fresh and slightly chilled. Eat only the soft "jelly like" fruit and don't scrape too close to the skin which exudes an unpleasant milk substance. The fruit can also be scooped out and tossed lightly with lemon juice to retard browning then used in a fresh fruit salad.
Buy abiu when they are yellow and firm but still show a little bit of green on the stem end. They are best eaten right away but you can typically store them, refrigerated, up to 5 days. In general you should handle this fruit very carefully because it bruises very easily.
Even though it is most commonly eaten fresh with a little fresh lime or lemon juice it can be used in desserts such as Abiu ice cream, a creation by the former chef at Monette's restaurant on the Big Island, Hawaii. Clare Richards, in her book Tropical Cuisine: Cooking In Clare's Kitchen, suggests adding the fruit pulp to a simple pana cotta, cheesecake or sorbet.
This is not one of the more commonly found tropical fruits in the U.S. I've purchased them in Hawaii before. There is a grower in Florida that sells them on a limited basis and you can purchase them online.
Recipes that feature abiu are pretty hard to come by. We did find this one by Chef Matthew S. Zubrod.
2 ounces unsalted butter
5 onions, julienned,
2 parsnips peeled and diced
3 abiu fruits’ pulp
2 ounces garlic, chopped
1⁄3 cup Cognac
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart beef stock
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Caramelize onions until dark brown in butter. Add garlic, deglaze with cognac, add parsnips, thyme, and abiu. Stir and add stocks, and simmer until the onions are tender. Season to taste. Gratin with Gruyere cheese and crouton.
For more information: Hawaii.edu