Prickly Pear Sorbet with Lime & Mint

I bought prickly pears.  And then I had to figure out what to do with them!


Prickly pears are the fruit of the prickly pear cactus — the same cactus that bears the nopales leaves I discovered in San Miguel, and used in my black bean quesadillas.  My friend Paddy mentioned eating the fruits growing up on my San Miguel nopales post, and I couldn’t stop thinking about trying the fruit ever since.

Well, first I had to learn how to get into them.  And after I got stuck by a stray thorn, I decided to use my google-fu to figure it all out.  Thanks to a great post on How to Cut and Prepare Prickly Pears at Simply Recipes, I managed to get into the prickly pears without any further stings.


After I had peeled the prickly pears, I popped the peeled fruit in the blender to get at the juice.  A quick run through the sieve to get the seeds out, a little mint, a little lime, and I had my sorbet base.

And here I am without an ice cream machine.  Luckily, David Lebovitz posted about how to make ice cream or sorbet without a machine, and it works a charm.  Especially when I can’t justify the cabinet space (or the freezer space!) on another appliance!  When you do it this way, sans machine, you’ll find that the resulting sorbet is a little icy.  I don’t mind that, personally.

So what do prickly pears taste like, you may be thinking?  Well, as I read on Simply Recipes, a prickly pear “tastes like a cross between all-natural bubblegum (if indeed there is such a thing) and watermelon.” Upon first reading this description, I was incredulous and convinced this was a ridiculous prospect.  But you know what?  They absolutely do taste like a cross between bubblegum and watermelon.  Go figure.  And these prickly pears are quite sweet on their own, so I didn’t add any sugar to the recipe.

I must say: this sorbet is divine.  And look at this colour!  Therefore, you have no excuse not to make your own, so go forth and sorbet!


Prickly Pear Sorbet with Lime & Mint
Serves 2

  • 6 prickly pears, skins removed
  • 1/4 c. mint, thinly sliced
  • zest of 1 lime

Toss prickly pears in a blender and blitz until smooth, for about 10 seconds.  Strain the resulting liquid through a sieve, keeping the liquid and discarding the seeds.

Pour the prickly pear juice back into the blender, and add mint and lime zest.  Blitz to combine (about 5 seconds).  Pour into a sturdy container (pyrex dish or stainless steel bowl), and pop into the freezer.

Check on the mix every 45 minutes to 1 hour.  When you have freezing around the edges, give it a good whisk (you can use a hand whisk, spatula, hand-held mixer, or even an immersion blender).  Return the mixture to the freezer, and repeat this process (for around 2-3 hours) until the sorbet is frozen.

Serve, and make sure to lick your spoon in delight.  This is good stuff.

Submitted to Amy’s Amazing Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.  Always delicious – go check it out for healthy & inspiring recipes.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Dessert, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


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9 Comments on “Prickly Pear Sorbet with Lime & Mint”

  1. Aniyia
    August 12, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    fico d’india!! i haven’t had these since i was in sicilia.
    this recipe makes me nostalgic. love it.

  2. Dani @ Body By Nature
    August 12, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    Awesome! I had no idea what a prickly pear looked like 🙂

  3. August 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Amazing fruit. I will have to give this a try. I still have a chaiote (sp?) squash in my fridge that I’ve got to do something with. Any ideas?

    • August 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

      Actually, I do have an idea — I had Cheyote in Mexico cooked with soy sauce and sesame seeds (and possibly Nigella seeds). Yum.

  4. August 16, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Aniyia — well, now you can enjoy them in sorbet form. Mmmmm. Thanks for sharing the Italian name — I love seeing the names of fruits & veggies in other languages!

    Dani — me neither, what a nice new find for both of us!

  5. August 17, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Wow!! That is beautiful!! I’ve never had prickly pears, but now I definitely want to try them!! 🙂

  6. August 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    This is so creative! I’d love to give this recipe a try. Sorbets are one of my favorites. Thanks for linking to SIT!

    • August 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

      Oh, Amy, you really should taste it — divine! And especially if you love sorbet!

      Thanks again for hosting SIT, what fun!!!

  7. August 30, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    Looks so wonderful! I have never had a prickly pear, but have seen them. Looks great!

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