Pawpaw fruit with dates make a very unique muffin.
Appalachian Pawpaw Muffins
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
It’s Muffin Monday again and for September I am really excited as I came across some Appalachian Pawpaws which we have a lot of in Ohio and decided to try my hand at using the fruit in muffins.
Around the world pawpaws can be different things- sometimes people think of it as a papaya. But that isn’t the kind of fruit I am referring to here. Pawpaws actually resemble a kidney-bean shaped ataulfo mango, but the similarity ends on the outside. Inside, instead of the huge center pit of the mango, or the core of tiny seeds like a papaya, the pawpaw has a series of bean-shaped seeds that resemble lima/butter beans or fava beans. They can make extracting the pulp interesting, but the end result is worth it.
Now pawpaws don’t ripen very well off the tree, so growers generally collect them from the ground. And the ripe pawpaw is a bit ugly, having dark marks on it- so if you go to choose your pawpaws, don’t go for the pretty ones. The uglier the better.
As fruit ripening go, test your pawpaws for give the way you would an avocado. They should be ever-so-slightly soft. In fact, the fruit inside is quite like an avocado- creamy and smooth like custard. But just like avocados, pawpaws don’t last very long but will keep in the fridge a few days. If you need to hold the fruit longer, extract the ripe fruit pulp and freeze. It tends to oxidize quickly, as avocados do so freeze that right away if you do. That doesn’t affect the taste at all.
The flavor is remarkable- it has that hint of banana, but not just banana- it tastes like a banana dessert, also with hints of vanilla and a touch of something citrus. It’s so good- hopefully you won’t gobble up all your fruit before you get it into the muffin batter. But I can imagine whoever first found this fruit to have been in love with it, perhaps easier to eat out of hand than getting the seeds out for baking, I picture them sitting around beneath a pawpaw tree, spitting seeds out like a kid with a slice of watermelon.
They can be a bit hard to find- I doubt you will find them in a store. They are available in Ohio, throughout Appalachia down towards Florida, and probably a few other places. If you don’t know a grower, you will probably have better luck at a farm market. I got mine at a grocer at Findlay Market in Cincinnati (Madison’s Market). They occasionally get produce in from specialty growers, such as Morel mushrooms in the spring, and etc.
I hope you get a chance to try these! Bill wanted to keep them all for himself. And he was right in thinking so. Thay are that good.
Appalachian Pawpaw Muffins
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons cooled melted butter
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup pawpaw pulp, mashed
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Use a paring knife to peel the pawpaws, then remove the seeds and discard.
- Mash pulp with a fork if needed.
- Whisk together the eggs, butter, buttermilk and vanilla.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and add those gradually, stirring until you have a smooth batter.
- Stir in pawpaw pulp and dates.
- Place batter 2/3 full in greased muffin tins or use cupcake liners.
- Bake muffins for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin can be removed without wet batter.
- Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out muffins to finish cooling on a wire rack.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
- Appalachian Pawpaw Muffinsfrom Palatable Pastime
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- Sourdough Date Nut Cranberry Muffins from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Sweet Pineapple Muffins from Food Lust People Love
- Whole Grain Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts
I have never heard of pawpaws. I wonder if they are available here in Michigan?
Yes, they are. Pawpaws are native to Michigan. However, few stores sell them because they are so perishable when ripe. Maybe you can find them at a farmer’s market? And, BTW, there is a Paw Paw, MI.
They do grow in Southern Michigan but are generally Appalachian. Even in the zone they will be hard to find. Here is a range map: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Asimina_triloba_range_map_1.png/330px-Asimina_triloba_range_map_1.png
The pulp can be bought frozen and maybe someone would ship.
I love your description of the paw paw flavors, Sue. What a wonderful fruit! I looked them up just now and they do look remarkably like a mango on the outside. Did you take a photo of the inside? I’d love to see it.
I have never heard of these! How interesting! Your muffins are really cute too.
I have never heard of a paw paw until our local market advertised them. Will have to try out this recipe to try them out. Thanks for sharing!
I tried this recipe after my neighbor shared paw paws with me. It was easy and tasty!
Ohhhhhh!!! I love these muffins! We have a bag of paw paws in the fridge right now. They are coming into season here and WNY and really hard to find. I only know one place at a farmers market to get them and it’s for such a short time. My husband planted three trees in our yard, so we are hoping to get some in a few years. Pinning this!!
I just made these and substituted Maple Syrup for the sugar. They are so good! We have 3 pawpaw trees in our new backyard and I had no idea what to do with them.
Glad you liked them! I’ll try to get even more recipes up when I can find more pawpaws. I wish I had a tree!
Just made these! So good, will try next time with maple syrup as above, great sub. I got mine at a farm stand in southern Connecticut. First time trying them but apparently they are very popular because there were a lot of people there who were waiting and had come just for the pawpaws.
Glad you liked them. I got some more pawpaw pulp this year that is frozen and tucked it in the freezer to play with when I get time so hopefully will have a few more recipes posting before long. The flavor of the fruit is incredible!
It is a good recipe. Easy and the muffins were good.
Thank you for sharing, what a wonderful recipe! I added some chopped pistachios and subbed in some maple syrup and reduced the sugar amount. I also filled them with strawberry jam.
Thanks. Glad you liked them!
Our dozen trees are seven years old now, purchased from Sparta, NC. Gathered our first fruit, puréed and froze, late summer. Making first muffins on our first snow day. We became intrigued attending a Paw Paw Festival in Winston-Salem, NC. Now we have a mature patch of our own! Thanks for the delicious recipe.