Monday, September 22, 2014

Pawpaw Fun (with a Pawpaw Ice Cream Recipe, too!)

-posted by Jayne

This is a post about one our newest favorite local fruits:  Pawpaws!  Have you tried them?  

They are ripe when they start to get soft and squishy, with some brownish
marks on their skin.

The insides will be bright yellow and softer than a
ripe banana.  There are lots of black seeds that you
need to pick out.

We went pawpaw hunting on Sunday at a friend's property.  "Take all you can find," they said... "we don't need them."  The kids were delighted that pawpaw hunting was much easier than springtime mushroom hunting.

To start things off, Isaac decided to show off his climbing skills by going for the pawpaws waaaaay at the top of the tree.  Do you see the monkey in the photo?

The pawpaws hang in clusters, varying in shape and size.  Very easy to spot.

The kids fought over the ones low to the ground, easy to pick.  Because you know, that's simply the natural thing to do with a sibling.

Maizy spotted a tree frog up in the tree, which eventually ended up clinging to Mason's shirt... right there somewhere in the middle of Saturn...

And I decided to do some sampling right there, to make sure they still tasted as good as I remembered from the week prior.  

Ah yes, the fresh pawpaw.  Ohio's tropical fruit.

But by the end of the day, there was no need to fight.  Plenty of pawpaws for friends, neighbors, and curious aquaintances.

The kids weren't wild about the taste of the fresh pawpaws, so I thought we'd make some pawpaw ice cream to entice them.  They got the task of scraping those little black dots out of the vanilla bean.

I really make them do these things so that when they are older and learn about vanilla bean extract, they tell their friends, "When I was little, my mom made me scoop the little vanilla bean dots out of the bean itself!"

I worked on mashing up the pawpaws to make the pulp.  I asked the kids to help but they thought it seemed "too messy."  "Too messy!?"  Have they looked at their play room lately?

The above and below photos are courtesy of Maizy.  I'm trying to let the kids improve their photography skills so they can enter a photo in the Circleville Pumpkin Show art exhibit.  Keep practicing, Maizy...

Getting the pawpaw pulp is the messiest and most difficult part.  I squeezed the seeds and surrounding pulp into my strainer, then worked the rest of the pulp away from the skins.  After the strainer was full I simply used my hands to push the pulp out into the pan.  If your pawpaws aren't ripe enough to mash through the strainer, I would recommend pureeing the pulp pieces with a food processor.  Chunks of under-ripe pawpaw really has no place in pawpaw ice cream (speaking from experience).

And here is the finished product!

And here is the recipe I used:

Pawpaw Honey Ice Cream

1 C. sugar
2 C. whole milk 
1/4 t. salt
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 C. pawpaw pulp
1/2 cup honey
2 C. heavy cream
*You will want to wait to mash your pawpaws until the first two steps are complete.  You don't want the pawpaw pulp sitting out waiting to be used.

1.  Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir until the mixture begins to simmer.  Place egg yolks in a bowl.  Stir in about 1/2 cup of the hot liquid to temper the eggs, and return everything to the saucepan.  Continue to heat to 160 degrees.
2.  Heat until thickened, about 5 mins.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
3. Stir in the pawpaw pulp, the honey, and the heavy cream.  Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.  

The reason for our newfound pawpaw craze?  We went to the Pawpaw Festival at Lake Snowden the previous Sunday.  

One of our favorite authors, Joel Salatin, was the featured speaker on Sunday afternoon.  He has written several books that have inspired us on our journey as small farmers and ag entrepreneurs.  

And of course the festival was filled with the usual festival fun.  Giant bubbles...

And pawpaws in every kind of food imaginable.  Pawpaw beer, pawpaw burritos, pawpaw ice cream, pawpaw popsicles, pawpaw salsa, pawpaw curry puff, pawpaw smoothies, pawpaw cookies, and pawpaw cakes.  I'm sure I've missed something.  

One thing missing from the festival was our Cinnamon Honey.  But it is not missing on the Whole Foods shelves!  Finally!  
And you can save yourself .01 if you buy it at Whole Foods versus from us at the farmer's market.  

If you're coming to the Worthington market on Saturday, I may just have a few extra pawpaws to share.  Hidden under the table.  Secret code:  pawpaw.  And a smile and a wink.  Hope to see you there!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I've had pawpaw "pudding" before, which is more like a cake. I have a friend who has a pawpaw tree...hopefully I can get a few to try this recipe! It sounds wonderful. I ♥ the pictures of the "hunt."