Pawpaw Pudding

Serves 6-12

This is an old-fashioned baked pudding, not as creamy as a custard but smooth and rich, with intriguing caramel notes and an undeniable pawpaw kick.

With a food processor, it takes only minutes to blitz that batter together. (Note: minutes blitzing together batter excludes gathering of pawpaws. It’s taken me up to 40 minutes to find and haul home ten pounds. Call it your exercise for the day.)

  •         2/3 cup (3.1 ounces ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  •         2/3 to ¾ cup granulated sugar (I prefer a less-sweet pudding)
  •         ¼ teaspoon salt
  •         ½ teaspoon baking soda
  •         1 large egg
  •         1 large egg yolk
  •         1 cup pawpaw pulp
  •         ½ cup buttermilk, preferably not low-fat
  •         ¼ cup half-and-half
  •         2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  •         3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Heat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle. Grease a 9 by 9-inch baking dish, preferably glass or ceramic.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda to combine.

In a large glass measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the pawpaw, buttermilk, half-and-half, and vanilla bean paste. With the machine running, add the pawpaw-buttermilk mixture through the feed tube. Turn off the machine, scrape down the sides, and add the melted butter with the machine running. Your batter should have the consistency of pancake batter.

Pour the batter into the greased dish. Bake until the center is set but still jiggly (like a pumpkin pie), about 30 to 45 minutes. The sides of the pudding will rise up and brown, while the interior will be flat, shiny, and amber-colored. Let cool to room temperature and serve with crème fraiche or whipped cream. I like this for breakfast with a big dollop of Greek yogurt, but I could say that about most any dessert.

The pudding will keep 2-3 days at room temperature. I suppose you could refrigerate it, but it tastes better at room temperature.

-From The Pocket Pawpaw Cookbook by Sara Bir, Copyright 2015 Sara Bir/The Sausagetarian