Canada's Wild Avocado : Paw Paw
If you're a foodie with a penchant for exotic and delectable fruits, get ready to be tantalized by the Paw Paw fruit, Canada's equivalent of the luscious Mango and the creamy Banana. This delightful fruit, wild-harvested with love by the foragers at Pacific Wild Pick, is about to make its seasonal appearance, and it's a taste sensation you won't want to miss.
The Paw Paw: A Flavorful Discovery
Every year, when that box of Paw Paws arrives, it's like a gift from Mother Nature herself. These intriguing fruits come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, ranging from orange and white to yellow, and their flavors are just as diverse. Some Paw Paws are extra sweet, while others might have a hint of tannic complexity, creating a range of taste experiences.
A Versatile Fruit Puree
The Paw Paw's flesh encases large black seeds, making it necessary to puree them after processing. The process is a breeze: simply toss the flesh into a food processor, and you're good to go. If you're feeling ambitious, you can pass it through a tamis sieve, but for most home cooks, this step isn't essential. Once you have your Paw Paw puree, the possibilities are endless.
A Fusion of Flavors
With a flavor profile reminiscent of a delightful cross between bananas and mangoes (though slightly less sweet), Paw Paws can easily replace other similar fruits in recipes. Imagine Paw Paw bread, prepared just like banana bread but with a unique twist. Personally, our go-to is mixing Paw Paw with creamy, rich ingredients.
Paw Paw Pudding: A Simple Yet Exquisite Dessert
Our all-time favorite Paw Paw creation? The Paw Paw Pudding, without a doubt. It's a simple yet exquisite treat that showcases the delicate flavor of Paw Paws. The recipe is akin to pastry cream, but with the added magic of Paw Paw puree, creating a dessert that's simply heavenly.
Cooking Tips for Paw Paw Creations
When working with Paw Paws, remember that they have a delicate flavor. Simple preparations work best to let their unique taste shine. Avoid overusing spices; a touch of ginger or honey can complement the fruit's nuances, and a hint of lemon can lift and enhance its flavor. Caramel makes a fantastic partner, but chocolate might not be the best companion for Paw Paw desserts.
The Paw Paw Pudding Recipe
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup Paw Paw pulp
- 1 egg and 3 egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dash of fresh lemon juice to taste
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (plus more for garnish)
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Tiny pinch kosher salt (about ⅛ tsp)
- Mix the eggs, yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla until well combined. Add this mixture to the half and half in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it noticeably thickens.
- Remove it from the heat, whisk to eliminate any lumps, and add the butter simultaneously. The mixture should become very thick. If it clumps slightly, strain it or beat it with a whisk. Off the heat, mix in the Paw Paw puree, then transfer it to a bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate the pudding until needed.
Finishing and Serving:
- To serve, whip the cream and a tablespoon of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon the pudding into four 1-cup ramekins, leaving ½ inch of space on top for the whipped cream.
- Cover the pudding with the whipped cream and smooth the top with a pastry spatula.
- Sift some powdered sugar over the top, garnish each with a mint leaf if desired, and serve.
Note: If you can't find Paw Paw puree, you can make your own by removing the flesh from the fruit, discarding the seeds, and pureeing it in a food processor. Be quick, as Paw Paw flesh can oxidize if left exposed for too long.
The Paw Paw Pudding is a delightful treat that beautifully captures the essence of this unique Canadian fruit. Once you've mastered this simple recipe, you can explore more elaborate dishes or enjoy it topped with whipped cream, just as we've presented it here.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to savor the flavors of Paw Paw, a fruit that's poised to become a new favorite among food enthusiasts. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that's as wild and delicious as the Pacific Wild Pick foragers' love for this incredible fruit. Happy cooking!