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Prickly Pear Cheesecake. Never in a million would I have ever thought that I would be making a raw cheesecake with a cactus as the star ingredient! How can a plant that is so vicious to the touch offer such a delicate sweet flavor? The vibrant magenta color is very captivating and downright unbelievable.
The frosting that I made for this cheesecake can be found here. It offers a wonderful balance to the light sweet flavor of the prickly pear. If you have the ability to get your hands on some prickly pears, (well, please don’t literally put your hands on them) I so encourage you to give this recipe a try.
You will notice in the picture above that the cheesecake seems to have two different colors of pink going on. The reason behind this is that the top layer of the cheesecake was exposed to air while it was chilling in the fridge. To others it will look fancy and well planned but we can keep this our little secret. :) When I made this cheesecake I made a mini sized one in a small Springform pan and then with the remaining batter I made small individualized cup servings.
My plan was to take them to the office to share with everyone and I find this is such a wonderful way in handing them out, rather than slicing up a large pie. My husband also asked me to experiment with the crust by just crumbling it into the container, rather than pressing it in, and he liked the mouth-feel of the crust mixed into the batter. I agreed, but for better visual effects I would normally press the crust into the bottom of the container.
Yields 9″ cheesecake
- Remove needles from the pear but burning them off with a small hand torch. This is very important! The small needles on the fruit are very painful if they get under your skin. So handle carefully.
- After the needles are burnt off, cut the fruit in half and scoop out the seeds and flesh, placing them in the blender.
- Blend the flesh and seeds in the blender for about 40 seconds. Pour the mixture into a nut bag or a mesh screen to separate the seeds and pulp from the juice. Discard seeds and pulp.