I love discovering new food. I was walking through one of my favorite farmer markets, Stockton Farm Market, when something caught my attention and I made a new food discovery. It was green and reminded me of a tropical fruit, like a mango. I walked closer to the table and took a good look at it. It's kidney shaped and smells kind of like a ripe banana. I asked the nice lady behind the counter and she explained that it's a native North American fruit and these were gathered from the wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania. She gave me a spoon with a bit of the meat of the fruit to try. It was soft and custardy.
She told me that it could be used in sorbet and gave me a recipe by Mads Refslund. I bought two big ripe ones. They look green even when ripe but do feel soft to the touch. Of course, I had to research this new fruit. So, it's in the same plant family as the cherimoya and custard-apple. It's native to Eastern, Southern and Mid-Western United States. The fruit grows on trees or large shrubs.
After making the paw paw sorbet, I left it in the freezer overnight. I tasted it the next night and it was very smooth and definitely have that ripe banana taste. It is definitely something I would try making again, especially since it was so easy to do.
Paw Paw Sorbet
About 12 ounces of paw paw, peeled and deseeded
1 1/2 cups simple syrup (take equal parts sugar and water, heat until the sugar is just dissolved)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Puree in a blender and pour into an ice cream maker. That's it.