Not Bread

The leaves of the 'Ulu or Breadfruit tree have inspired Hawaiian quiltmakers for nearly 200 years. It is a lovely ornamental tree and the fruit is very useful as well, having long been a staple food in Polynesia.

Since we planted quite a variety of fruit trees on our property - some of them over 25 years ago - I have felt a responsibility to use them in a productive way. Not just as compost falling to the ground beneath the trees. So, this has required a bit of research and experimentation, trial and error sometimes, and, yes fruit still gets wasted, rotting on the ground, driving me crazy. Guilt, guilt, guilt. But, hey, you do what you can.

This breadfruit pudding, called Papaiee, is a wonderful use of the fruit. Kind of a cross between mashed potatoes and a sweet potato casserole in texture, though with the flavor of coconut mixed in. Breadfruit boiled or baked when green is more like boiled potatoes, firmer and also very good. When dead ripe, brown and crusty on the outside, you can make this cassarole. Next time I want to try it with milk or cream, butter and more savory type seasonings for a different take.
1 dead-ripe breadfruit
1/4 cup honey
2 cups rich coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

If you bring in a green breadfruit, let it sit on your counter a few days until it is brown and crusty outside. Cut open and scrape out the soft flesh into a bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients and stir together well. Pour into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 F for one hour. I served mine with oriental style, broiled ahi and a small salad last night.

This recipe was adapted from Euell Gibbons' Beachcomber's Handbook, which I've had around for years. A very useful source for those living in the tropics. Now I want to research breadfruit in Indian cooking, if such a thing exists. If it doesn't, maybe it should. I may innovate something.


Sunny said...

oh that looks yummy...you forgot to save me a piece!

Claudia Riley said...

Thank you, it was. I believe there is some left-over pudding available.