Pawpaw Pudding

First, get some pawpaws. Hurry, you only have a few weeks left. This article I wrote for Serious Eats explains how to do that. It's awesome and you should read it right now.

Next, make this pudding. It’s homey and custardy, with intriguing caramel notes and an undeniable pawpaw kick. Using a food processor, it takes only minutes to blitz that batter together. (Note: estimated minutes blitzing batter excludes gathering of pawpaws. It took me about 40 minutes to haul home ten pounds. Call it your exercise for the day.)

Pawpaw Pudding

Serves 6 to 12

  • nonstick cooking spray, to grease the dish
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 to ¾ cup 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

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle. Grease a 9-by-9 inch baking dish, preferably glass or ceramic, with nonstick cooking spray.

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 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 I like it better when it’s not cold.