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Cactus Candy


This is a very popular Arizona candy, especially in the airport gift shops.



  1. Select prickly pear cactus (or small barrel cactus if you own this type of cactus, since it's illegal to remove it from the desert).
  2. Remove spines and outside layer with large knife. Cut pulp across in slices one-inch thick. Soak overnight in cold water.
  3. Remove from water, cut into 1-inch cubes and cook in boiling water until tender. Drain.
  4. Cook slowly in the following syrup until nearly all the syrup is absorbed. Do not scorch!
  5. Syrup (for 2 quarts of cactus cubes):
  6. Heat all ingredients until sugar is dissolved, then add cactus.
  7. Remove cactus from syrup; drain and roll in granulated or confectioners sugar.

For colored cactus candy, any vegetable food coloring may be added to the syrup.

Source: Arizona Cookbook


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