Monday, 1 August 2011

Prickly pear sorbet

Prickly pear (babutsa or papoutsoyska) is a member of the cactus family and is found growing throughout Cyprus. The fruit is ripe and harvested between August and September. We have planted the prickly variety and a non-prickly variety which are growing rapidly. Prickly pear fruits are a good source of dietary fibre, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.

The prickly pear must be harvested wearing gardening gloves to protect yourself from the small but very sharp spines. Gloves are also necessary to peel the fruit. Start by cutting off both ends , cut a vertical slit down the fruit and peel back the skin to leave the fruit. The fruit can be eaten raw but is an acquired taste as it full of hard seeds.  

To make the sorbet pick 8-10 fruits, peel as mentioned, and using a fruit press extract the juice until you have about two cups. Add half a cup of water to thin the juice and one tablespoon of vodka which is required to keep the sorbet smoother as alcohol does not freeze. Stir in sugar to your own taste. Freeze for 45 minutes, remove, whisk and re-freeze for a further 30 minutes. After the second period of freezing your prickly pear sorbet is ready to serve as an appetiser or dessert. A wonderful flavour - enjoy.

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