This is dragonfruit. It comes from a cactus, which is too cool for words.
When you cut it open this is what you find:
Brilliant fuscia-pink flesh peppered with tiny black seeds. There is a white fleshed variety but I like this one better. The skin peels off like a banana. You can eat the flesh as is; it's best chilled. The flavour is subtle but refreshing. Add some lime and suddenly it's tropical, fruity and delicious!
After trying a dragonfruit sorbet and then a salad, it was time to get to the serious stuff: cheesecake. The flavours work together so well and the finished cheesecake was flirty with those jewel colours and so light and tempting... oh I could eat a lot of this stuff. Here's the recipe...
Dragonfruit and Lime Cheesecake
1 biscuit base (cookie crumb pie shell)
1 cup cream
1 tub cream cheese, 250g/8oz, softened. It MUST be soft or the cheesecake tastes weird and is lumpy.
1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar/powdered sugar)
1 tsp gelatin
4 tbs water
Beat cream until softly whipped - it should be thick and luscious but NOT stiff.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add whipped cream and icing sugar, beat until smooth. Add the finely grated zest of 1 lime and mix.
Pour into pie shell and chill to set, at least half an hour.
Juice the limes and set aside.
Put water in a small, microwavable dish and sprinkle over the gelatin. Leave for a few minutes to get spongy.
Peel dragonfruit; push flesh through a sieve with the back of a spoon to crush out as much juice as possible. You can also place the mashed flesh in a cheesecloth or clean, new chux and wring out the juice. Mix a spoonful of the seeds back into the juice (it's prettier).
Microwave the gelatine for 10 seconds; it should turn to liquid. Mix the gelatin and juices.
Carefully pour over the cheesecake mixture and chill.
Chill several hours; overnight is better. The longer you chill it, the better the flavour.
Handy tip: For maximum juice, use limes that are at room temperature and roll them on the kitchen bench with your palm before cutting and juicing.
I made a dozen mini cheesecakes in a friand pan; the bases came apart a bit but they were delicious anyway!
Do any of you have dragonfruit recipes to share?