~*~ PRICKLY PEAR BELLINIS ~*~
SERVES: 6-8 DRINKS⎪ LEVEL: EASY
Whether it’s for a festive party or summer brunch, this Bellini recipe will quench your thirst anytime of year! It’s striking magenta color comes from the prickly pear, a cactus fruit that tastes like watermelon, banana, and strawberries. Paired with citrus and an optional kick of cayenne, this drink ticks all the flavor marks. When preparing the fruit, note that it contains the antioxidant pigment, betacyanin which is also found in beets. So use gloves and a plastic cutting board to avoid staining.
2 ripe prickly pears
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
cayenne, to taste (optional)
1 bottle chilled Champagne or Prosecco
1. PREP THE PRICKLY PEARS
While there may not appear to be any more cactus spikes, tiny hair-like stingers can still pierce your skin (and you’ll pay the price later with a pair tweezers!), so wear gardening gloves, or use tongs and a fork to handle the fruit. Hold the prickly pear with your tongs and cut off each end with a sharp knife. Cut a shallow slit from top to bottom while using the fork to hold the fruit steady. Gently peel the skin away from the fruit with the knife. Once the skin is peeled from both sides, you can safely grab the heart with your hands and dice it.
2. MAKE THE PURÉE
Pulse the prickly pear flesh, lime juice, sugar, and cayenne, if using, in a blender until smooth. Press the mixture through a sieve and discard the prickly pear seeds.
Pour 2 tablespoons of the prickly pear purée into each Champagne flute and fill with cold champagne. Garnish with a lime or prickly pear slice.