|At first, I thought they were figs. They are supposed to be a little more green.|
Ohio's state fruit was almost the pawpaw. It should have been, but the tomato won out. I have no idea why. 2 years ago my mother-in-law and I saw an article about that and, ever since then, she has been on a mission to find me this elusive fruit and bring it to me so I can preserve it.
The problems with this plan were myriad. Pawpaws, when found, need to be picked off the tree, not up off the ground, because if they are on the ground they are already too ripe. They don't last long at all. The batch I was presented with had been picked 2 days ago and they were already getting very soft. Most people who have pawpaw trees don't even consider them something edible or even remotely lucrative. By habit my in-laws asked around at a local (to them) farmers market and found someone who admitted to having some trees and was willing to bring some the following week for them.
One other problem is that they need to be dealt with rather quickly. So, after the kids went to bed and the in-laws unloaded the car, I set to work. Pawpaws are a lot like bananas, but they have these big seeds which look like large beans. Each pawpaw is very little flesh and a lot of seeds. Or, at least, these were! Maybe there are bigger ones further south - the pictures on the wikipedia page show much larger fruit than what I had. Using a recipe on line as a guide which calls for 1.5 kg of pawpaw flesh, 1 kg sugar, the juice of 2 limes and 50 grams of pectin, I grabbed my scale and started measuring.
I weighed out the pawpaw flesh: 635 grams.
I weighed out the sugar: 485 grams.
To this I added 1 T. lime juice. When it was all boiling I added about half of a Certo package. Which is essentially 50 grams (so I used twice as much pectin as the recipe called for, but it worked out just fine). What I ended up with is 4 half-pint jars of pawpaw jam and a little left in the pot for me to taste. It's a bit like roasted bananas, maybe bananas foster? It's moderately tropical. I like it!
Thanks for the gift!