October 12, 2015

Pawpaw cream tart

This is a recipe for all of the lucky folks out there who have the ability to get their hands on some pawpaws in the fall. We only discovered the pawpaw a few years ago after I heard a piece on NPR and kinda became obsessed with finding them. Lo and behold, we found them a few weeks later sitting in a box at one the our favorite farmer's stands at our local farmers' market. To this day, this is still the only place we've found them, even though they are a native fruit to our region. If you live in the region where pawpaws are native, I highly suggest seeking them out. They have a short season and are rarely found in grocery stores. They are also called "custard apple", "poor man's banana", and other names. Once you smell and taste one you will be very surprised that they grow in the mid-West and mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. because you will swear you are eating a tropical fruit -- custardy and sweet with a taste and smell like a cross between a pineapple, banana, apple, and mango. If you want to learn more about the pawpaw, check out this book - I'm currently reading it and it's really fascinating so far.

We pretty much always just enjoy our pawpaws raw and out-of-hand (well, spoon). But this year I decided I wanted to try a recipe with them and decided on a simple tart. This tart has very few ingredients and no spices -- it's all about the flavor and texture and smell of the pawpaw. This recipe will make one 9-inch tart.

Pawpaw cream tart
1 single recipe for your favorite pie crust (I use either olive oil or lard/butter)
1 cup pawpaw puree* (about 3 large pawpaws)
1/2 cup half and half (or whole milk)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fit the crust to a 9-inch tart pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.

In a food processor combine the pawpaw, half and half, cornstarch, and sugar. Puree until smooth. Pour into the crust.

Return to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is set, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

*To make pawpaw puree, halve each paw paw and remove the seeds. Remove the flesh around the seeds. Carefully scoop all the flesh out of the skin into the food processor and puree until smooth. 

What was I cooking one year ago?: apple ring pancakes
Two years ago?: apple & pork mac n' cheese
Three?: apple crisp pie
Four?: chipotle sweet potato soup
5?: roasted butternut squash & cream pasta


  1. Oh wow! This pawpaw cream tart looks fabulous, Amy! So good and full of yummy flavors!

  2. Hi Amy! I have never seen or eaten a pawpaw before. Form your photo it looks like a mango. Your pawpaw cream tart sure looks good!

  3. I have never heard of pawpaws before, but it sounds so intriguing! I'm going to keep my eye out at our farmer's markets, just in case some show up here. =) This tart looks wonderful!

  4. This is a great idea, sounds great and I'd love to try a slice with a nice cup of tea.

  5. Don't think I have ever heard of or seen pawpaws before..the tart looks splendid!

  6. I've never cooked with pawpaws. Now I'm going to have to track some down -- this tart looks wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration. :-)

  7. i've actually seen some articles praising the pawpaw lately, which is awesome and surprising. i've been enjoying them for years and years and never realized they were so elusive! haven't made a pie with pawpaws but it sounds and looks amazing!

  8. Being from the Midwest, I'm surprised I haven't heard of paw paw before! I'll have to check our farmers market next time I'm there to see if anyone has them. What a great way to use them if I do!

  9. Well I am with everyone else---Huh? Pawpaw? What? But I like a LOT of your comparison crosses, soooooo I better on red alert for some of this fruit. It works out. I'm in the mood for a new experience.

  10. This looks lovely. I've heard the song about pawpaws but have never eaten them. (I don't think they're grown in Canada!)

  11. Dear Amy, I also have never seen any pawpaws around here, let alone heard about them. But they certainly sound like a wonderful fruit to discover and enjoy raw or in your baking - as your cream tart looks absolutely delicious - I would really, really love to try a slice and discover a new taste!
    Great post!


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