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Prickly Pear Ice Cream

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How many ways can one eat prickly pear ice cream…?   I have only begun to explore this question.

Last week Bob and I went to the Farmer’s Market.  As the weather is starting to head towards Fall, we are finding it much more enjoyable to mosey around the marketplace.  There was a vendor that was selling Prickly Pear Popsicles and the raw fruit too.   So we decided to buy some.  We actually had no idea on what to do with or how to prepare them, but we always have Google! :)  Bob really got excited reading about the preparation because it involved a torch!

This fruit is also called Cactus pear, Tuna fruit, Indian figs and Mission cactus.  Good-quality Prickly Pear is egg-shaped and has yellow to magenta coloring depending on the variety. Ripen prickly pears at room temperature. The small seeds are edible, but the rind is not. Be careful of spines that were not removed.  Prickly Pears are low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. They’re also a good source of Calcium and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C and Magnesium.

I never in my life saw a natural color that was so vibrant!  What a gorgeous shade it is, don’t you agree?!!

Ingredients: yields 5 cups

  • 2 cups of raw soaked cashews (for 2-4 hrs)
  • 1 1/4 cup of prickly pear juice (see below)
  • 1 cup of young Thai coconut meat
  • 1/2 cup young Thai coconut water
  • 1/3 cup + 1/4 cup of raw agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Prickly pear juice :
  • While holding the fruit with tongs or with a knife stuck into the end, remove needles from the pear by 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, then put 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 the seeds.
  1. Cashews:  after soaking, drain and rinse.  It is important to soak the cashews so they will blend up nice and creamy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until everything is nice and smooth.  I always rub a little batter between my thumb and forefinger,  if I feel any “grit”  I continue blending till that goes away.  This will make for a smooth and creamy mouth feel.
  3. Chill the mixture for about an hour in the freezer.  Then finish by following your ice cream machine’s directions.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Prickly Pear Ice Cream

  1. Kim says:

    This looks beautiful. I will definitely have to try this – with the green variety, too. There is a simpler way to peel and enjoy prickly pears that doesn’t involve a torch. Using a fork to hold the fruit steady, cut off both ends. Then make a cut in the peel lengthwise. Then, use your fork and knife to peel it. The peel should come off very easily if the fruit is ripe. Hope that makes sense. If I had some prickly pears, I’d take some pictures to illustrate.

    • amie-sue says:

      Yes Kim, that makes total sense. My husband just jumped up and got excited when he found out that he could use the hand blow torch in the kitchen. haha

  2. Gabrielle says:

    I was lucky to be at the Farmer’s Market on this day. It will now be unforgettable in more than one way. :)
    Amie Sue blessed me with a taste of this treat! The color is glorious. Not only did it look great it tasted fabulous! But, even better was the healing effect of the prickly pear on my body.
    Now you can add “Healer” to your title. Oh, and don’t forget “Hand Model”. Lol

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