- 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
- Spray an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Then set it aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine the pureed and de-seeded prickly pear cactus fruit with the applesauce.
- Whisk the pectin and a ½ cup sugar together in a small bowl. Once mixed well, add to the cactus fruit.
- Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of your saucepan and bring your mixture to a boil.
- Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of sugar.
- Bring everything to a boil and stir constantly until your mixture reaches 225°. (this took me less than 5 minutes)
- Remove from saucepan from the heat. (and shake your arm from all that stirring!)
- Pour the hot mixture into your 8×8 prepared glass dish.
- When slightly cool (about an hour), sprinkle sugar on top.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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