Pawpaw Ice Cream
2 cups pawpaw pulp (or more, if you have it)
1 cup sugar
2 cups cream
2 cups milk
Combine the pawpaw and sugar. Stir in the cream and milk. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according the manufacturer’s directions.
Note: Vanilla, walnuts, and other flavors and ingredients work well with pawpaw. But if this is your first batch, I would encourage you to try it plain and to let the pawpaw stand on its own.
Easier Pawpaw Ice Cream
Buy your favorite vanilla ice cream. Allow to soften considerably on your kitchen counter. Fold in pawpaw pulp to incorporate. Refreeze, and serve. Voila, pawpaw ice cream. (Try topping your ice cream with this easy homemade coconut whipped cream.)
Pawpaw beer is as old as America. Or almost.
Brewing with pawpaws is an established tradition in the eastern United States. In the early 1800s, botanist François André Michaux noted that “At Pittsburg, some persons have succeeded in making from [pawpaw] spirituous liquor,” and in 1905, James A. Little reported that “brandy, equal to peach brandy, is made of pawpaws.” In 1921, an Ohio newspaper wrote, “Pawpaw beer, properly made, is said to have the hardest kick of any of the home brew drinks. It has become quite popular in some parts of Ohio since the coming of prohibition.”
Though its popularity among home brewers may have waned over the course of the following century, pawpaw’s revival with craft brewers has been swift. In the state of Ohio, where the tradition was previously noted, at least a dozen breweries produce pawpaw beer annually, including Cleveland’s Buckeye Brewing, Athen’s Jackie O’s, and Fifty West Brewing Company in Cincinnati.
In Durham, North Carolina, Fullsteam Brewery has produced a Belgian-style Tripel brewed with over 100 pounds of pawpaw per batch. The fruit is all produced by a single orchardist, Wynn Dinnsen, in nearby Chatham County.
Experiment with adding pawpaw to your own homebrew beer or, if beer isn’t your style, try using it to flavor your homebrewed kombucha.
Homemade wines and meads are popular amongst pawpaw enthusiasts. But only a few commercial wineries have ever produced pawpaw wine.
Wildside Winery, in Versailles, Kentucky, is one of those wineries. According to their website’s product description, Wildside’s pawpaw wine is sold cloudy because they’ve found that if they subject it to a “fining” process then their pawpaw flavor is sacrificed. “So we go for leaving in all the flavor,” they state. Their wine is made with pawpaws from an orchard just a few miles away.
Andrew Moore is author of Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit, a cultural and natural history of the largest edible fruit native to the United States, and a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award nominee in the Writing & Literature category.