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prickly pears
to go straight to the prickly pear sorbet recipe CLICK HERE

prickly pear sorbet
makes approximately 1 liter

for the sorbet
800g prickly pear juice
200g alginate enhanced sorbet solution — see below
10g rose water
50g inverted sugar
20g shelled and blanched fresh pistachios – see tip

alginate enhanced sorbet solution
1kg water
500g caster sugar
8g sodium alginate

Weigh the water and sugar into a saucepan and place it on high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Do not reduce and turn the heat off immediately. Cool the solution completely then weigh in the agar and incorporate with a stick mixer or in a blender/Thermomix. Alginate can be added to the basic sorbet solution at the proportion of 0.008g sodium alginate per 1g basic sorbet solution.

for the sorbet
weigh everything into a container, chill and churn adding the pistachios at the end of the churning process. If you don’t have and ice cream machine the base can be frozen in an air tight container and forked to form a granita style ice, or it can be chopped up and worked for 30 to 40 seconds in a Thermomix top get a pretty good sorbet texture.

tip we buy new season pistachios vac them and freeze them so they can be used at our convenience during the year. This preserves the beautiful bright green colour that looks so gorgeous!

picking the pears
Great care needs to be taken to wear thick gloves and whilst the lower prickly pears are easy to break from the bats if they are ripe, getting to the top can be tricky/dangerous. Our neighbour Mariaused to have long stakes with open ended tins attached (see left) and the ripe pears will drop into the tin and then it’s pretty easy to drop them into a bucket.
Take care not to brush against the bats the spikes hurt and are hard to pull out.

peeling the prickly pears
We have found the best way to peel the pears is to use a smooth perspex board and a pair of tongs flipping them around as you peel and scraping the board clean between each pear so that you don’t end up with prickles in your fruit. We did think that the Thermomix might grind the seeds but they remained unchallenged by the machine and we have found our juicer is much quicker and easier than pureeing them and sieving them. Yield if you are lucky is at most 35% of the total weight of the fruit.

the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
Ann Oliver

champagne editor
Kaaren Palmer


Jan Bowman
Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

Olivia Stratton Makris
Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

Michael Martin…Northern America 2016.Photographic assistance Kym Martin…Adelaide based.

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copyright © text, recipes and images Ann Oliver & Kaaren Palmer 2016.