Week 38: Dragon Fruit

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Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is the fruit from a cactus. Although native to South America and Mexico, the cacti are now also cultivated in Asia, Hawaii, and Australia. They only bloom at night, leading the fragrant white flowers to be nicknamed “moon flower” and “Queen of the Night,” and causing a dependence on nocturnal creatures to pollinate them.

Inside the inedible outer skin you will find either white or magenta pulp with lots of tiny black edible seeds. The fruit is low in calories, and contains fiber, carotene, Vitamin C and other antioxidants. So, even though I made candy out of it, I’m going to think of it as “healthy.”

Scoop out the flesh of a dragon fruit and add some gelatin, water, and a little sugar (optional), and you get wonderful little jellies. They’re especially good when dusted with powdered sugar. They’re lightly sweetened and taste faintly of watermelon and strawberries, with a bit of crunch from the seeds (very similar to kiwi seeds).

Dragon Fruit Jellies

Makes 10 one inch squares

  • 1 packet of gelatin (1/4 oz)
  • 1/4 C cold water
  • 3/4 C dragon fruit puree (I used 1 dragon fruit that was ~1/2 lb.)*
  • 2 1/2 t sugar or honey (adjust based on sweetness of your fruit)
  • Powdered sugar, sifted, for dusting (optional)

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in bowl. Let sit for 1 minute, until gelatin has softened. In the meantime, place dragon fruit puree in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar or honey as needed. Once the mixture has just started to boil, pour over gelatin. Mix until all gelatin has dissolved. Pour into molds or a small pan. Refrigerate 1-2 hours or until solid, then remove from molds and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

*To prepare the dragon fruit, cut in half and scoop the flesh out. Place in blender or food processor and blend until relatively smooth (no large chunks).

24 Responses to “Week 38: Dragon Fruit”
  1. Baking Serendipity writes:

    This is so interesting! I have never had dragon fruit before, but always hear people talk about it out here in Phoenix :)

  2. delicieux writes:

    Dragon fruit are so beautiful aren’t they? I love the idea of turning them into jellies and the jellies look amazing.

    By the way, I love the idea for your blog (I just stumbled onto it via Foodgawker), it’s fantastic! I’ll be subscribing.

  3. Stephanie writes:

    Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by! I love Foodgawker, you can always find something great on there.

    I absolutely loved the color of the dragon fruit, it was gorgeous.

  4. Stephanie writes:

    Interesting – do they grow in Arizona? The one I got was from the USA but didn’t specify which state. They didn’t have a strong flavor but I loved the color! I would recommend trying them once for fun.

  5. Marisa writes:

    These are beautiful. The color makes them so appealing and appetizing too. Great idea to turn them into a candy. I’ve never had dragonfruit before, but I’ve heard that is not that flavorful–what better way to make up for that than to turn it into a sweet little jelly?

  6. Stephanie writes:

    Thanks Marisa! It definitely worked well. Although they weren’t super flavorful, the sugar helped and they were just so pretty to look at! Not something I’d buy on a regular basis (they were really expensive too) but fun to try once!

  7. Andrea writes:

    My mouth is going crazy looking at those jellies! I think I’ll have to try a dragon fruit – at least once in my life. They’re beautiful.

    Really, you are very creative/inventive with the recipes you come up with!

  8. Stephanie writes:

    Thanks Andrea! Definitely one of those things to try once, they are gorgeous.

  9. Lisa writes:

    These are lovely! I live in Okinawa and am always looking for ways to use up some of the produce I have here (rather than lament the lack of the produce I enjoyed in the States). I can’t wait to try these. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe and your photos. :)

  10. Stephanie writes:

    You’re welcome! What other produce do you have available? Let me know if you have any unusual ingredients you want me to feature!

  11. I'm a full-time mummy writes:

    Thanks for this recipe. Definitely saving it! I’ve also given you a buzz! :)

  12. Stephanie writes:

    Thank you!! :)

  13. Charlie writes:

    Dragon fruit is one of my favorite fruits! These jellies look delicious :).

  14. Liv Wan writes:

    I love those red dragon fruit but it’s impossible to find them in Edinburgh. Thank you for sharing this great post.

  15. The Tomato Snob writes:

    Wow thee look lovely! I love dragon fruit, but I’ve only had the one that is white on the inside.

  16. Joy writes:

    Ohhh that looks so good. Where did you find the puree?

  17. Stephanie writes:

    I made it – scooped out the flesh of 1 dragon fruit and ran it through a food processor to make it smoother.

  18. Chris Louie writes:

    Wow, these are cool looking. I am sure my boys would like them! Thanks for the education on the dragon fruit.

  19. Amy K. writes:

    Wow these are so beautiful! I have seen dragon fruit at an international farmers market but never knew what I could do with them. I will definitely have to give these a try!!

  20. Nathalie writes:

    Wow! What an impressive and original idea! Your picture really grabbed my attention. I also love your concept of trying out different ingredients. Bravo! Nathalie. PS: Voted for you on the PFB ;-)

  21. LimeCake writes:

    yum i love dragon fruit. this looks delicious! love the fuschia.

  22. Marisa writes:

    Loving the bright, inviting colours! And the little black seeds on top add that special something. Great idea.

  23. ela writes:

    this is another great way to enjoy dragon fruit!
    good luck in PFB. enjoy!

  24. Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes | 52 Kitchen Adventures writes:

    [...] tried everything from colorful dragon fruit to mushrooms that taste like maple syrup (you can see all 52+ adventures by visiting the [...]

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