Week 38: Dragon Fruit

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 Comments on Week 38: Dragon Fruit

  1. Baking Serendipity
    September 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      September 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm (5 years ago)

      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.

  2. delicieux
    September 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm (5 years ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      September 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm (5 years ago)

      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.

  3. Marisa
    September 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm (5 years ago)

    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?

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      September 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm (5 years ago)

      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!

  4. Andrea
    September 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm (5 years ago)

    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!

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      September 19, 2010 at 7:56 pm (5 years ago)

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

  5. Lisa
    September 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm (5 years ago)

    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. :)

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      September 20, 2010 at 7:37 am (5 years ago)

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

  6. I'm a full-time mummy
    September 20, 2010 at 8:27 am (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      September 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you!! :)

  7. Charlie
    September 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
  8. Liv Wan
    September 21, 2010 at 6:11 am (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
  9. The Tomato Snob
    September 21, 2010 at 6:50 am (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
  10. Joy
    September 21, 2010 at 6:55 am (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
    • Stephanie
      September 21, 2010 at 7:40 am (5 years ago)

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

  11. Chris Louie
    September 21, 2010 at 8:39 am (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
  12. Amy K.
    September 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm (5 years ago)

    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!!

    Reply
  13. Nathalie
    September 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm (5 years ago)

    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 😉

    Reply
  14. LimeCake
    September 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
  15. Marisa
    September 23, 2010 at 7:16 am (5 years ago)

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

    Reply
  16. ela
    September 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm (5 years ago)

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

    Reply

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