No, a pawpaw is not a made-up fruit from the Jungle Book. It’s a regional delicacy that is experiencing quite the renaissance. Although pawpaw ice cream and pawpaw pie sounded delicious, our team was most intrigued by the possibility of pawpaw mead. Could we do it? There was only way to find out!
To start, we harvested some fruit from our rain garden pawpaws, and man we had plenty! Pawpaws are exceptionally sweet and to us tasted like “cross between a mango and a banana”. After removing the (giant) seeds, we had over four cups of pulp, which was just enough for our recipe.
The recipe called for unprocessed apple cider, honey, and water (and obviously the pulp), but since we couldn’t get our hands on any unprocessed apple cider, we went with an addition of champagne yeast to help get our mead fermenting.
After following the recipe, we set the pawpaw mead mixture to sit for few days. Playing the waiting game was not easy!
We waited a few days, and it seemed as though the fermentation had slowed and the mead was ready to be strained, siphoned, and enjoyed! What was the verdict? Mixed results for sure. Reactions ranged from “really dry sauvignon blanc” to “I’m surprised that I don’t hate it”. If one thing is for certain, it’s that we love our rain garden pawpaw tree and experimenting.