Prickly Pear Gum Drops

1/2 cup ripe prickly pear cactus fruit, peeled, pureed and de-seeded
1-1/2 cups plain no sugar added applesauce
2 teaspoons of powdered pectin (such as Sure Jell)
2-1/2 cups sugar, divided
Sugar for dusting each gumdrop

Spray an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Then set it aside.

In a large saucepan, combine the pureed and de-seeded prickly pear cactus fruit with the applesauce.

Whisk the pectin and a 1/2 cup sugar together in a small bowl. Once mixed well, add to the cactus fruit.

Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of your saucepan and bring your mixture to a boil. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of sugar. Bring everything to a boil and stir constantly until your mixture reaches 225°.

Remove from saucepan from the heat.

Pour the hot mixture into your 8×8 prepared glass dish.

When slightly cool (about an hour), sprinkle sugar on top. Allow to set several hours (this is going to vary depended on your weather, humidity outside/inside. Recommend letting them dry at least 12 hours.

Once the candy is mostly set, enough to cut, cut your mixture into 1-inch squares, or use a mini cookie cutter sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to make hearts, flowers, whatever – though if you plan to use anything other than just a sharp knife, you might need to let them dry even longer, though they will dry better when cut.

Dredge in some sugar and allow to dry another 6+ hours or overnight on a piece of parchment paper.

Store covered for up to two weeks.

Winco Deep Fry/Candy Thermometer with Hanging Ring, 2-Inch by 11-3/4-Inch

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