Have Some Pawpaw Pie?

Pawpaw pie is made from papaya.

Pawpaw is the common name for the papaya tree. The botanical name is Asimina triloba.

I used to think it only grew in the tropics but I've learned that some varieties grow here in the States also.

Pawpaw tastes distinctly different from other fruits and is great in a fruit salad.

In Africa, we make pies.

The pies are very easy to make. The challenging thing is to find a green pawpaw. You may have to make a special trip to your local African, Oriental or Spanish store. But, it is certainly worth the trip.

The green pawpaw should be a pale yellow color on the inside. But sometimes the color will be orange because the fruit has begun to ripen. You can see this coloration in the pie photo above. But don't worry, it still tastes the same...delicious!

Pawpaw Pie

First we have to make the pie filling

Pawpaw Filling

3 Cups papaya (1 large or two medium Papaya)
2 C sugar
3 Tbs lime juice (about 4 limes)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg
2 Tbs margarine
pinch salt

Peel your pawpaw and remove the seeds. Cut up into chunks roughly 1 square inch. Place papaya in a pot. Cover with water, add salt, cover the pot, and boil until soft.

When done, drain off the water and cool. Use a cook spoon to mash and force the papaya through a strainer.

Squeeze the limes and add the juice. Be careful to not add any seeds. Stir in margarine, vanilla, and cinnamon(or nutmeg).

Add 1 1/2 cup of sugar, stir, and taste. Slowly add remaining sugar to your taste. I use the entire 2 cups because I like it very sweet. You may not. Mix well and set aside.

Next, we have to make the pie crust.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Pie Crust

4 C flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C margarine
1/2 C sugar
1 1/3 C milk

Measure out and combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter into the flour. To cut, you simply mash the margarine into small pieces while mixing in the flour. Cut and mix until the small pieces of butter are more or less spread out in the flour.

Stir sugar in the milk. Pour sweetened milk into flour mixture. Fold milk into flour evenly.

Use your hands to gather dough into a ball. Place on lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into four pieces. Use a rolling pin to flatten each piece of dough. Use a knife to cut out a circle. Place one piece of pie crust dough in each pie pans.

Divide the filling evenly between the two pans. Cover each with a piece of dough. Use a knife to cut four holes in the top of each pie crust.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 or until crust is golden brown.

Cool, and enjoy your pawpaw pie. Also nice served chilled.


Try to find a papaya that is very green with no signs of yellow (unless you want orange pawpaw). One trick is to pierce the skin with your nail and if it oozes wa clear liquid, it is probably still very green.

Test for softness by sticking a fork in several pieces like how you test sweet potatoes. You want it soft but firm, not mushy.

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