Cactus Fruit | Yummy Prickly Pear Gum Drops


  • ½ cup ripe prickly pear cactus fruit, peeled, pureed and de-seeded
  • 1½ cups plain no sugar added applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons of powdered pectin (I used Sure Jell)
  • 2½ cups sugar , divided
  • Sugar for dusting each gumdrop at the end
  1. Spray an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Then set it aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the pureed and de-seeded prickly pear cactus fruit with the applesauce.
  3. Whisk the pectin and a ½ cup sugar together in a small bowl. Once mixed well, add to the cactus fruit.
  4. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of your saucepan and bring your mixture to a boil.
  5. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of sugar.
  6. Bring everything to a boil and stir constantly until your mixture reaches 225°. (this took me less than 5 minutes)
  7. Remove from saucepan from the heat. (and shake your arm from all that stirring!)
  8. Pour the hot mixture into your 8×8 prepared glass dish.
  9. When slightly cool (about an hour), sprinkle sugar on top.
  10. Allow to set several hours (this is going to vary depended on your weather, humidity outside/inside. I recommend letting them dry at least 12 hours. (Seems like 12+ is the magic number so plan ahead)
  11. Once the candy is mostly set, enough to cut, cut your mixture into 1-inch squares, or use a mini cookie cutter sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to make hearts, flowers, whatever – though if you plan to use anything other than just a sharp knife, you might need to let them dry even longer, though they will dry better when cut.
  12. Dredge in some sugar and allow to dry another 6+ hours or overnight on a piece of parchment paper. Store covered for up to two weeks
Henry Sapiecha

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