Jane’s Sweets & Baking Journal -- janessweets.blogspot.com -- December 2012

Cactus-Pear and Cherry Sorbet

Yield: Makes about 3 to 4 cups of sorbet

4 very ripe cactus pears

1 pound sweet cherries

12 ounces simple syrup, cooled (Easily made with 1 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 cup water; simmered in a saucepan until just boiling. Remove from heat and cool.)

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons cherry (or other fruit-flavored) liqueur (I used Heering cherry liqueur; you could use Kirschwasser, or try Chambord, or even Limoncello would probably be good.)

Cut the cactus pears in half and scoop out the pulp with a large spoon. (Be careful; the outside of a cactus pear may have tiny spines left on it that you can't really see.)

Pit the cherries and cut them in half.

Put the pulp and the cherry pieces into a deep straight-sided container and blend them with an immersion blender until no large chunks remain. Strain the mixture into a medium size bowl. Rinse out the deep straight-sided container. Pour the strained mixture back into it, along with all of the simple syrup.

Blend the mixture again until all lumps are gone and it looks quite smooth. Strain the mixture again, into a bowl, this time with a fine mesh strainer. You're trying to catch any seeds from the cactus pears; they are very hard and black.

Stir the smaller amount of lime juice, along with the liqueur, into the strained sorbet mix. Taste the mix, and add more lime juice if you prefer. Don't add more liqueur; too much alcohol can make it difficult for the sorbet to firm up in the freezer.

Chill the sorbet mix until extremely cold and churn it in your ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's directions.

Put the churned sorbet into a container that can be tightly covered and freeze it for at least several hours. I froze mine for over a day before serving it; it needs time to get really firm, and for the flavors to ripen.

Serve in small portions. Nice as a light dessert, or as a palate cleanser between courses.