I have some ripe papayas and decided to create a new pie recipe with them. The papaya part turned out quite well. I used pureed papayas, dark sugar beet syrup, creme fraîche, egg, and some cognac. The taste is very earthy, somewhat buttery, and while it was nice, I didn't want the whole pie to taste like that. So I decided that a second filling would be nice. I want to make a filling with contrasting taste and color, and lightly mix both in the shell, like marble cake.

For the taste, I think that the typical Italian yogurt gelato taste will give the perfect combination - quite sour, somewhat sweet, no distracting fruity notes to compete with the papaya. The easiest thing to try was to just bake some yogurt. So I mixed 3.5% and 10% yogurt, added some sugar, vanila and cream of tartar, and mixed in dissolved starch. But after baking the pie, the taste is nowhere near what I need. The biggest problem is that it isn't sour enough.

Any ideas how to approximate frozen yogurt or yogurt icecream taste? I prefer a baked filling, but if all else fails, I'd settle for a cold-setting filling to be put into a blindbaked shell. Then I'll have to remove the egg from the papaya and think of a way to thicken it.

3 Answers 3


I'm not much of a pie baker, but I am something of a chemist. So, I can tell you that the yogurt is pretty sour (pH around 4.4.-4.7), but the acidity comes from lactic acid, which tastes different than the acetic acid of vinegar or the citric acid in citrus fruits.

I think it's the flavor of citric acid you want, and are missing, not the actual acidity (with cream of tarter in there it should be quite acid). In this case, lime is a natural partner to papaya. Rather than flavoring the yogurt with vanilla, why not use a healthy jigger of lime juice and its zest? The juice has a pH of around 2, so it will also increase the acidity some. The zest gives the essential oils of the fruit, giving a stronger lime smell and flavor (without actually impacting the acidity).

  • You could also try sodium citrate or citric acid which has a bit more of a neutral sour than lime or zest.
    – yossarian
    Jun 6, 2011 at 15:24
  • A nice thought. However, I think it is the opposite: Real frozen yogurt doesn't taste of citric acid, I am probably missing the lactic acid taste. Maybe I should try a yogurt with stronger taste next time, the dead-culture supermarket stuff is sometimes too bland.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 6, 2011 at 15:31
  • @yossarian, I will certainly not use lime, just because this is one of the few fruits I can't stand. But if the "more lactic acid" test turns out bad, I'll use citric acid.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 6, 2011 at 15:33

How about a small amount of tamarind paste? I'd say about a quarter of a teaspoon, as the stuff is as sour as something very sour. It might mess up the colouring though.

Having said that, I think a good contrast to the papaya might be something like ginger, rather than sourness.


You can always add sour with lime.

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