As I have said several times before, I love making scoops inspired by experiences and memories. My latest scoop is inspired by my recent trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. My husband and I took the chance of visiting the area in the late winter and it paid off. The weather was perfect, ranging from 50s to 60s with sunny blue skies. Of course the area is beautiful, who wouldn't say that, but it also possesses a special spirit. It is a spirit that makes you feel humbled and free at the same time. People who live here love their land and their home. There is culture centered on the land. I fell in love with it all.
One famous food from the region is the prickly pear, a bright pink fruit that grows on a cactus. Most restaurants in the area have some form of prickly pear beverage or dessert. The flavor is both tart and sweet (often described as tasting like a tart watermelon) that lends itself well to fruity cocktails and sweet treats. I didn't pick any prickly pear from the side of the road, but I did find a bottle of prickly pear syrup that I thought would be perfect for making sorbet. When I brought it home I decided that a little added creaminess would be good, so I used coconut milk as a base. The sweet, creamy coconut and tart prickly pear work really well together. Enjoy!
Prickly pear syrup can be found at most specialty stores in the southwest or ordered online. If you are lucky enough to have access to real prickly pear fruit, there are several recipes online that describe how to make your own prickly pear syrup.
1 - 15 ounce can coconut milk (full fat version)
3/4 cup prickly pear syrup
1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
Pinch of salt
Shake coconut milk well, open can and pour into a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add prickly pear syrup, lime juice, and salt. Whisk until combined. Chill in refrigerator until completely cold, about two hours. Once chilled, pour sorbet base into an ice cream maker and churn following manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, press with a sheet of parchment (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until set, about 4 hours.