Prickly Pear Margarita

 

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We’ve all heard about Strawberry Margaritas, but how about a Prickly Pear Margarita? Len and I were recently hiking in near-by Rice Canyon in Chula Vista, California, one of the many canyons in the San Diego area known for its natural cactus and chapparal  vegetation. I used to hike in this canyon when I was a child and past images came to my mind – branches of cholla cactus sticking to my hand as I brushed past – my friend’s mother donning garden gloves and pliers to remove the prickles from my hand.

That day as we walked in the canyon, the fruits from the Prickly Pear Cactus were out in abundance, their red color contrasting with the green spiky paddles of the plant. Len said that people have been eating this cactus fruit for many centuries and was a major source of food and medicine for Native Americans. I felt a major ‘What Tha!’ coming on and started to ponder what I could make with this fruit. It came to me suddenly – what about a Prickly Pear Margarita!

Prickly Pear fruit (called tuna in Spanish) has a subdued flavour with a cross between a watermelon and a plum. However, when puréed and added to a Margarita, it can turn an ordinary cocktail into something extraordinary!

Prickly Pear Cactus in Rice Canyon IMG_6124 You’ll need Garden Gloves and Pliers to harvest the fruit IMG_6129 You have to be very careful in picking the Prickly Pear fruit- the prickles are almost invisible and are rather difficult to remove if lodged in your skin. For my Margarita, I decided to buy the Prickly Pears from a local Mexican supermarket, where the prickles had already been removed.

To prepare the Prickly Pear:

IMG_6134  First, cut the fruit in half length-wise: IMG_6136   Next, scoop out the seeds: IMG_6143    Cut around the inner fruit to separate it from the outer skin: IMG_6144  And here is the delicious pulp from the Prickly Pear!

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 To Prepare the Prickly Pear Purée:

  • First, prepare a syrup with a 1:2 ratio- I brought 1/4 cup water to a boil, then added 1/2 cup sugar and stirred for several minutes.
  • Reduce the heat; then add 3/4 Prickly Pear fruit and stir until the fruit mixture becomes soft.

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  • Purée the mixture in a blender, ready to be added to your fantastic Prickly Pear Margarita!

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Prickly Pear Margarita
Cuisine: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A Margarita cocktail flavored with a delicious Prickly Pear purée
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces Tequila
  • 2 ounces Triple Sec (Cointreau)
  • 2 ounces Lime Juice
  • ½ cup crushed ice
  • 2 - 4 tsp Prickly Pear Purée
Instructions
  1. Add the Tequila, Triple Sec (Cointreau), lime juice and crushed ice into a blender and pulse until blended.
  2. Stir in 2 - 4 tsp Prickly Pear purée to taste.

 

Marbled Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Marshmallow Ganache

 

 

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I ‘invented’ these marbled cookies almost by accident. I originally planned to color my shortbread cookie dough with blue food coloring, intending to get a nice uniform color throughout. However, I added the dye too late in the process and what came out was an ‘interesting’ marbled effect. WHAT THA?

I should have added the food dye while first creaming the butter and sugar together- that way I could have blended the dye thoroughly in before adding the flour. But for some reason I decided to add the dye after the dough was completely formed and what came out was a marbled effect.

Should I throw out the dough and start again? No, I started to like these ‘new age’ cookies- maybe I could even call them ‘psychedelic cookies’ or even ‘tie-dyed cookies.’ No, I think I’ll call them ‘Marbled Shortbread Cookies’– sounds fancier.

In order to get the marbled dough effect, first completely make the shortbread dough: cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla, then add the flour to form the dough. Next add the food coloring and mix with the electric beaters. At this point, the food coloring won’t be able to blend thoroughly into the dough, so what you get is a crumbed, marbled effect.

IMG_6028Form the dough into small balls onto a baking sheet then press down to form the cookie shapes.

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After they are baked and cooled, sandwich two cookies between a luscious chocolate/marshmallow ganache.You can eat them by themselves or serve them along side a chocolate sundae. Whatever we call these cookies (‘marbled’ or ‘psychedelic’) they sure do taste good!

Serve the cookies with a Chocolate Sundae

Sundae cropped

Tell me Dear Readers, have you ever made a recipe that turned out a lot different than you intended?

5.0 from 2 reviews
Marbled Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Marshmallow Ganache
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Marbled Shortbread Cookies filled with a delicious chocolate marshmallow ganache. Serve individually or with your favourite chocolate sundae!
Ingredients
  • For the Shortbread Cookies
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (85 g) cornstarch
  • 1 tsp teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups(350 g) all purpose white flour
  • several drops of food coloring
  • For the Ganache
  • 250 g semi-sweet dark chocolate
  • ⅓ cup (80 g) heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp Marshmallow Crème (or Marshmallow Fluff)
Instructions
  1. Using electric beaters, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture forms a smooth paste.
  2. Add the cornstarch, salt and flour and beat until a dough is formed.
  3. Now add several drops of food coloring and continue to beat with the electric beaters. The dough will now have a crumbed ‘marbled’ effect
  4. Using your hands, form the dough into small balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten the balls into a cookie shape.
  5. Bake at 350 F (175 C) for 15 minutes and let cool.
  6. To prepare the Ganache, melt the chocolate and cream together in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the Marshmallow Crème.
  7. Remove from heat and let cool in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes until the mixture thickens. Spread about 1 tsp of the ganache over one cookie; add another cookie on top to form a ‘sandwich.’ Serve individually or with ice cream.