This interesting and common cactus is called “Prickly Pear” or “Paddle Cactus". Originally from Mexico but grows all over the world. I found this huge beautiful cactus in Loma Linda, CA.
The paddles can be peeled and cooked. The red fruit, known as cactus figs or Indian figs, is found growing on the paddles and also can be eaten. Both the paddles and the fruit are covered with spines called glochids. These have to be removed carefully or they will get embedded into a person’s skin. The fruit is ready for harvest in the fall when the color turns red.
Cactus Fruit Sauce or Gelato
· 2 cups milk
· 1/3 cup sugar
· 2 tablespoons corn flour
· 200 g cactus fruit pulp
· a few drops of lemon juice
Mix the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees until set. Can be served over cake or ice cream or can be puréed and made into Gelato. If anyone else has a good recipe, let us know?
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