To be at their best, pawpaws need to ripen fully at room temperature. As a pawpaw ripens, the skin darkens, becoming black in spots (like an overripe banana) and the flesh becomes very, very soft. When your pawpaw fruit reaches this point, grab a spoon and prepare to enjoy a pawpaw at its finest.
- 1 1/2 cups quick oats, uncooked
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted & finely chopped
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1-1/2 cups pawpaw puree* (2 – 4 pawpaws, depending on size)
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 3 eggs, separated**
- 1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
- 2 Tbsp water
* Halve the pawpaws and scoop out the pulp with a spoon, discarding the seeds and skin; puree in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve.
** Please note: This recipe contains raw eggs. Foods containing raw eggs are not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
Prepare the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (convection 300 degrees).
In a large bowl, combine all dry crust ingredients. Pour the melted butter over, mixing until evenly blended. Firmly press the crust mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9 inch springform pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown; set on a rack and allow to cool completely.
Prepare the filling:
Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, yogurt, sour cream, egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Add the pawpaw puree and stir well to blend.
Combine the gelatin and water in a small saucepan. Simmer, stirring frequently until the gelatin is completely dissolved; allow to cool slightly, then stir into the cheese mixture.
Beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture.
Spoon the filling into the cooled crust, smoothing the top with the back of the spoon. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until completely set.
To serve, run a knife around the edge of cheesecake and remove the ring. Carefully slice the cheesecake and serve on individual plates. Garnish with your choice of fresh berries and sprigs of mint.