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Pawpaw Pudding Pie, an 18th Century-Inspired Tasty Dessert


Prepare this unusual 18th-century dessert using pawpaws. It’s a sweet and creamy pudding or pie that will tickle your taste buds.

The pawpaw is a common plant in the East, South and part of the Midwest. Yet, it’s an unusual fruit: pawpaws have a short harvest season, don’t travel very well, and are somewhat unfamiliar to many cooks.

You will be hard-pressed to find them in a grocery store. You’ll likely have to forage for them yourself. But it’s worth it.

They generally ripen sometime between September and October. You’ll have to gather them within the short window that they appear, before the critters get to them. In that regard, they are similar to mayapples.

Pawpaws are a yellowish-green fruit with a creamy interior. A pawpaw is similar to a papaya in texture and aroma.

Here’s a pumpkin pudding/pie recipe that Jon Townsend and his daughter Ivy adapted for pawpaws from Amelia Simmons’ 1796 “American Cookery” cookbook.


  • 1 cup mashed pawpaw flesh
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tblsp molasses
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. The pawpaws might be difficult to get completely smooth. It’s okay if they remain a little lumpy.
  2. Pour into a pie plate with prepared uncooked dough bottom.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  4. Allow pie to cool, preferable overnight, and set completely before serving.

That’s it. You can’t get much easier than that. So, the next time you’re out foraging and you find yourself a few pawpaws, give this simple recipe a try. It apparently tastes like a cross between a pumpkin pie and a fruit pie.

Sounds pretty tasty to me!

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: 18th Century Vegetarian Desserts Are Simple and Delicious

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Pawpaw Pudding Pie, an 18th Century-Inspired Tasty Dessert