Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Indiana Banana

Have you ever eaten a Pawpaw? Neither had I until today. As I was outside this afternoon, enjoying the sweet smell in the air, it hit me that the smell might be coming from the fruit. So I wandered out to the stand of pawpaw trees and sure enough, the fruit was ripe.

I just removed the seeds and scooped out the pulp like a grapefruit. Man are these things ever good! We'll be heading back out with a ladder and a bushel basket now. Hopefully we'll get enough to make a pie. I found a recipe online. They also said they're great to add to a milkshake. Yum!

Pawpaw Cream Pie i

  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. flour or ¼ c. cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. light cream
  • 1 c. pureed pawpaw pulp
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 baked 9-inch pastry shell

Combine sugar and flour or cornstarch. Add the beaten egg yolks, milk, and cream. Mix well and add pawpaw pulp. Cook and stir constantly over low heat until thickened. Cool.

Make a meringue by beating the egg whites stiff with 3 Tbsp. sugar and a pinch of salt. Pour custard into a baked pastry shell and cover with meringue. Bake in a moderate oven (350o F) for 12 minutes or until meringue is browned. Serves 6 to 8.

Now if I could just figure out what to do with these persimmons, I'll be all set. Any clue?


Kathie said...

Cookies!!! Make persimmon cookies!!! But they're not ready until after the first freeze. Otherwise they're extremely tart and uneatable. I also have recipes (from a persimmon festival) for bread, pudding, ice cream, cake, etc. But the cookies are my personal favorite. :)

LRC said...

Ok,I am sorry, but those paw-paws just look slimy.........

Renee said...

I love the new photo of the farm house. And the paw paw sounds great. If you have extras...

BeccaMarie said...

This is mom called me last night to ask if I wanted some paw paws! We have a different use for them though, they naturally repel spiders! I have never tried eating one. I put them in pie tins around the outside of our house. The pie tin is to hold the mess as they rot, which is when they work the best. I have no idea about persimmons though. The only thing I know to do is cut seeds open and see if there is a spoon, knife, or fork. Spoon is lots of snow, knife is deadly winter, and fork is mild winter, or you can have a combination.

SW Ohio Pawpaw Queen said...

So glad you finally discovered Pawpaw, North America's largest native fruit--also the most misunderstood, judging from some of the comments posted. The picture you showed was a VERY ripe fruit. Pawpaws are similar to bananas (there are stages of ripeness), so one a little less ripe may have appealed to Irc. Renee may want to know about the Ohio Pawpaw Growers' Association which was formed to promote and educate people about the tree, its fruit, how to handle and process the fruit, and encourage people to grow it until it enough commercial orchards are established for the genral public to get them in grocery stores. OPGA also provides recipes, and planting and care advice for serious growers and enthusiasts, conducts grafting workshops, and in in many cases, provides info where fruit can be obtained. September is the harvest month, so they are gone for this year. Fortunately I have a freezer full of pulp. Beccamarie is confusing pawpaws with an inedible fruit: Hedge Apples--the green, baseball to softball size, brainy looking fruit of the Osage Orange tree. If you set pawpaws around in tins around the house they would quickly turn to mush and mold and attract a host of unwanted insects.
Go to for more pawpaw info because I could talk all day about them. That website has been having sporadic trouble so an alternate site is Or email OPGA president at
Regarding persimmon--that is also a wonderful fruit to bake with, or eat fresh like candy. To clear up misinformation, it is not correct that you can't eat them until after a frost. They tend to become ripe in October. They turn color from green to orange. They are very astringent (will pucker you up) until they become soft. Unfortunately, the skin is thinner than paper and when they hit the ground they tend to splatter. You can pick or collect while they are firm, and set them on a plate until they soften. Otherwise, cooking or freezing will destroy the astringency. To process the pulp, lightly rinse in a colander, put soft fruit through a food mill to remove seeds. Freeze pulp. You can use it much the same way you would use applesauce. Indiana has a large persimmon industry.
--Pawpaw Queen of Southwestern Ohio

freaked out 'n small said...

Never even heard of a pawpaw until now. I'm going to be on the lookout for them though...