Prickly Pear Sorbet

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It’s towards the end of summer and Prickly Pears are popping up everywhere!

In Texas, we have Prickly Pear Cactus everywhere.  They are like weeds.  Most of us try to keep them out of our yards, because once you let one grow, it multiplies.

Since Prickly Pear Cactus grow wild around us, I decided to make a sorbet recipe.

Don’t confuse sorbet with sherbet, granita, Italian ice, frozen yogurt, or ice cream.  Sorbet is sometimes used as a palate cleanser with a many course meal.  When there is a transition needed to go from one course to another, cleansing the palate, gets your tastebuds ready to enjoy the new flavors of the next course.  This is why a sorbet is a little more tart using the acid from fruit juices, or liquor and is served in very small portions.

Prickly Pear Sorbet

Prickly Pear Sorbet


3 large Prickly Pears (from the cactus)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
2 tablespoons fresh Key Lime Juice


Wearing rubber gloves, wash the prickly pears rubbing off any prickly thorns. (They are like little stickers in the stubble of the fruit)

Peel the fruit with a vegetable peeler and dice.  Puree in a food processor and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  Let cool.

Add to the prickly pear puree in the food processor and add the lime juice.  Pulse to mix.  Pour through a strainer and discard the seeds and pulp.

Pour the juice into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator and per ice cream maker instructions, churn the juice until the mixture is a slushy consistency.  Place in a container and freeze until firm.

To serve, scoop out approximately 1/8 cup per serving into a small dessert bowl and serve.