I foraged some prickly pears last night (something I won't do again without a pair of heavy gardening gloves...) and, after researching what to do with them, decided on a sorbet.
I skewered each pear on a chopstick and held it briefly over the flame on my stove to scorch off the worst of the prickly parts and then peeled them (very carefully -- scorching does not remove everything), then pureed them and strained out the seeds. I ended up with almost exactly 4 cups of puree (maybe juice is a better term), which I mixed with about 2 cups of simple syrup and the juice of 4 limes. The whole thing is currently chilling in my fridge and will go into the ice cream maker later today. I wish I had a splash of tequila to add to the mix.
This is the first time I've ever done anything with a prickly pear and I'm completely fascinated by them. I have access to an enormous, fruit-covered cactus and will probably go get more soon. I've seen recipes for prickly pear vinaigrette, prickly pear syrup, a variety of prickly pear mixed drinks and a prickly-pear glazed chicken. Are there any experienced prickly pear chefs out there with tips or great recipes to share?