Pawpaw. Fruit with Pudding Inside. Yes.

Ugly on the outside but lovely on the inside...like so many things.
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A pile of pawpaws, looking all artsy against my black granite counter

What the hell is a pawpaw? Or Paw Paw, or paw paw or paw-paw; aka a custard apple and <insert name of your state here> banana, the nicknames abound. One of our oldest native fruits, pawpaws grow on shrubby trees throughout parts of the Midwest and Appalachia. Mine came from a friend who has several pawpaw trees on her property down the road.

As you can see from the photo above, they are a somewhat unattractive fruit, on the outside anyway. But split them in half and oh boy.

 

Ugly on the outside but lovely on the inside...like so many things.
Ugly on the outside but lovely on the inside…like so many things.The photo here doesn’t do justice to what these things really look like – hey, iPhone shot, what can I say – but pawpaw innards are creamy in color and texture. It’s like pudding

The photo here doesn’t do justice to what these things really look like – hey, iPhone shot, what can I say – but pawpaw innards are creamy in color and texture. It’s like pudding.

FRUIT WITH PUDDING INSIDE, PEOPLE. It’s for real.

The taste of pawpaw is usually described as mango and banana, a description I would agree with although there was a definite cantaloupe aroma and flavor in these (which may be just the variety – there are apparently several kinds – and my friend did not know what type she had).

I picked out the large, dark brown seeds to save for a possible jewelry project later – they are quite beautiful – and scooped out the the fruit. I found a pudding recipe (as in a more British definition of “pudding” – baked in a dish with milk, eggs, sugar and flour) and…wow. Very yummy, and very unique, and perhaps a perfect dish to impress company.

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Shown here with a stingy (because, ART) dollop of commercial whipped cream, but this would be super with a dollop of coconut whipped cream from my previous vegan post.

Kentucky seems to be the center of the pawpaw recipe universe, if you have a source for pawpaws and want to try something new. Ohio’s Pawpaw Growers Association has a handy document on freezing the pulp and other useful information. The Michigan pawpaw season is at an end right now, so if you have missed it, make yourself an reminder for next fall. You won’t be sorry!

Originally published at www.usualandordinary.com (direct link here)

 

 

 

Bonus material: An amusing commentary about pawpaw pudding between my brother and I on Facebook:

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About Rebecca Foster 63 Articles

Rebecca Foster writes about food, politics, books and whatever has irritated her on any particular day, on her website Usual and Ordinary (www.usualandordinary.com). She is an occasional contributor to The Livingston Post and has remained active in local politics and the community after serving as Pinckney Village President from 2004-2012. She lives in Pinckney with her husband, two sons, and three cats – and a good sense of humor.