Now what is this exotic Prickly Pear?? They are known to few, the fruit of the nopales cactus (cacti with beaver tail-like paddles), are actually edible. Called prickly pears, these vibrant magenta color fruits are delicious,they taste like a cross between watermelon and pear. The best way to eat this is just cut it into halve and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. The juice is often used to make jam or candy, but works wonders in cocktails and used in vinaigrettes for salads. I've seen people used the juice to flavor cream cheese frosting for cakes and have seen others boil it down with a bit of orange and lemon juice to make a sauce for fruit salads and cheesecakes.
We used to have one huge cactus plant at my mom house and there were plenty of these fruits on it but during that time we have no clue that they are edible. So the birds had a field time eating the sweet fruits.
Many Mexican markets, farmers markets, and some natural food supermarkets carry prickly pears, but you can find these mostly in California, the Southwest and Mexico. You can imagine my excitement when I saw these prickly pear fruits at our produce place as it is not easy to find them here in PA and without any hesitations I grab a few of it. It cost me quite a bit of money too.
Here is what I made out of the beautiful fruits. The juice of this pear gives a really beautiful pink color to the batter but after baking it kind turn into bright orangey color.
1 ¾ cups Self Rising Flour
1/8 tsp of salt
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar
3/4 cup Prickly Pear juice (you need 4 prickly pear to get the juice)
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of sugar
6 egg white
1 tsp of cream of tartar
1. Cut the prickly pear into halve. By using a spoon scoops out all the flesh. Put it in a food processor and give it a few pulses. Strain out the juice to get rid of the black seeds. Set it aside.
3. Whisk ingredient (C) in mixer over high speed until stiff peak. It should not fall out when you turn the mixing bowl over. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolks mixture and continue to do so until egg whites is finish. Remember to fold in gently until well mixed.
5. Invert cake and let it cool complete in the pan. When is cool, loosen the edge of the pan and remove cake.
Note : Be warned though, while the ones in markets have been cleaned of the tiny hair-like thorns, the ones fresh off the cactus plant are covered with them, so be sure to handle them with heavy leather work gloves and scrub them hard to ensure all the painful little barbs are off. Also the juice might stain your clothing too. Either way, please handles them carefully.
I want to wish eveyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope you all have a wonderful time with your family and friend.
I am submitting this second chiffon post to Aspiring Bakers #1: Chiffon Cake (Nov 2010) hosted by Small Small Baker