Select Page

Although you may not have heard of it, the pawpaw has quite a history. Thomas Jefferson had pawpaws at Monticello. And when he was minister to France in 1786, he had pawpaw seeds shipped over to friends there. He probably wanted to impress his friends with something exotic from America. (excerpted from The Salt, NPR’s Food Blog)    

Here is a simple recipe for preserves using the amazing pawpaw. Please share your own recipe if you have one, or let us know how this one turned out if you try it.

Pawpaw Preserves

From the Kentucky State University Extension Program

  • 12 pawpaws (about 5 lbs)
  • 2 c. water
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange

Peel pawpaws. Put in kettle with water, without removing seeds. Boil until soft, then put through a sieve. Add sugar and juice of orange and lemon. Boil until thick. Grated rind of orange or lemon may be added. Put in sterilized jars and seal.

Three reasons to try a pawpaw:

1. For a testimonial, we defer to Meriwether Lewis, nearly 200 years ago: “September 15, 1806 — We landed one time only to let the men gather Pawpaws or the custard apple of which this country abounds, and the men are very fond of.” The Native Americans have enjoyed it for centuries.

2. The yellow, sweet, custardy pawpaw ripens with a mystical pungency, redolent with the flavor of mango, banana and pineapple — a tropical fruit far from the tropics. Some have an aftertaste of melon. A ripe pawpaw can be eaten right off the tree — just slice, squeeze and slurp — or used in dishes, from Pawpaw BBQ Sauce to Pawpaw Ice Cream.

3. The pawpaw is good for us — three times as much vitamin C as an apple, twice as much riboflavin and niacin as an orange, and about the same potassium as a banana. In fact, it’s sometimes called the “poor man’s banana.” High in magnesium, iron, manganese and copper, it’s a good way to imbibe protein, too — pawpaws contain all the essential amino acids.  (excerpted from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Thursday, September 18, 2003 by Suzanne Martinson, Food Editor)