Pawpaws add a tangy accent to any pudding, and this increases with ripeness, so consider the desired flavor intensity when choosing pawpaws. This recipe begins with a pawpaw purée, which you can purchase online if you don’t have access to fresh pawpaws. Otherwise, it’s quick work to remove the flesh from your pawpaw, discard the seeds, and purée in a food processor. Be careful to work quickly because pawpaw purée will oxidize if left alone for too long.
Remember that when cooking pawpaws, the more heat you add, the less “perfume” in the finished product. Your pudding will stay good for at least a week, but it probably won’t last that long!
• 1 large egg
• 1 egg yolk
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 1 to 2 tablespoons flour
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• 1 cup puréed pawpaw fruit
• 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup heavy cream<
• 1 tablespooon powdered sugar, plus more to garnish
• Fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)
1. Beat the egg, egg yolk, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gently sift the flour then fold in gently.
2. Heat milk on medium-low in a non-reactive saucepan.
3. Reduce heat to low when the milk is hot, but not boiling.
4. Gradually whisk the egg- and flour-mixture into the milk.
5. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly to ensure that the mixture doesn’t stick or burn to the sides or bottom of the pan.
6. When the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes), turn off the heat and continue to whisk for a minute or two to prevent clumping.
7. Stir in the lemon juice, pawpaw purée, and the kosher salt.
8. Strain pudding into a container, working in small batches if necessary.
9. Place plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding to prevent it from forming a skin.
10. Cool the pudding immediately in the refrigerator, then reserve until needed.
11. Whip the cream and a tablespoon of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
12. Spoon the pudding into four, 1-cup ramekins, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace on top for the whipped cream.
13. Cover the pudding with the whipped cream and smooth the top with a pastry spatula, and garnish with sifted powdered sugar and a mint leaf.
Learn more about growing and foraging for pawpaws in Foraging and Growing Pawpaws: North America’s Native ‘Banana’
Chef Alan Bergo has cooked his way around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, using wild and foraged ingredients whenever possible. Recipe courtesy of www.ForagerChef.com.