Creme brulee

Chef Kieron shares how to use the little known pawpaw fruit, which is native to Michigan, in a beautiful créme brûlée. Why is it you may not have heard of pawpaw before? Well, for one thing, they have a very short season, usually just the month of October. Additionally, ripe pawpaws only last for two or three days at room temperature, and once ripe, they bruise easily! Click here to read more about “the American fruit you’ve never heard of.”

Pawpaw Créme Brûlée Recipe Pawpaw Créme Brûlée Recipe


  • 6 6oz ball jars or ramekins
  • 1 deep roasting tray
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 high-speed blender


  • 1 ripe pawpaw
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Thoroughly wash and peel the pawpaw fruit.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and add the flesh of the fruit into a blender. Blend until it forms a smooth puree.
  4. Place the cream and vanilla extract into a heavy bottom pot and bring to a simmer.
  5. Remove from the stove and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar together.
  7. Add the lemon zest, salt, and black pepper and whisk for 5 minutes.
  8. Add ¼ of the cream mixture to the eggs whisk until fully incorporated.
  9. Add the remainder of the cream mixture and whisk again until fully incorporated.
  10. Lastly, add the pawpaw puree, whisking again until fully incorporated.
  11. Gently place a paper towel on top of the mixture and let it sit for 10 seconds to soak up the excess foam.
  12. Slowly pour the mixture evenly into your 6 oz ball jars.
  13. Place the jars into a deep roasting pan and pour warm water around the dish until the water level reaches about ¾ of the way up the jars.
  14. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. When finished, the creme brulee should have a slight wobble in the center.
  15. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack for 45 minutes to set.
  16. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.
  17. Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top.
  18. Using a fine sieve, dust the top of the creme brulee with the powdered sugar.
  19. Using a torch, melt the sugar until it forms a light golden color.
  20. Repeat the process, this time resulting in a slightly darker caramel color.
  21. Enjoy!

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Interested in more dessert recipes? Check out our Bread & Butter Pudding, Tarte Tatin or Flapjack Biscuit recipes!