Dragon Fruit Sorbet / Ice Cream

Pitaya (aka Dragonfruit) was on sale so I couldn’t resist trying it. I always try to buy a random ingredient I’ve never used before and see how it tastes. There’s no crazier looking fruit than this cactus fruit. You can find them from the Americas and East/Southeast Asian countries. Interestingly, the pitaya flowers only bloom at night, so they rely on nocturnal pollinators such as bats or moths.

There’s an interesting legend talking about the nickname “dragonfruit”. The fruit was created thousands of years ago by fire breathing dragons. During a battle, the dragon would spew the dragon fruit just before death in a battle. After the dragon was slain the fruit would be presented to the Emperor as a coveted treasure and sign of victory. Sources from Wiki and California Rare Fruit Growers

The fruit is gorgeous – I had to gasp when I cut this open. I’ve seen the white fleshed kind, but this magenta color is just eyepopping. More nerdy fun facts:  Eating red-fleshed dragon fruit (such as Costa Rican Pitaya) may result in a harmless reddish coloration of the urine just like beets.

The inside looks kinda like a kiwi. For its vibrant wild appearance, the taste very bland like a melon or kiwifruit.

I wanted to make my dagonfruit into a pretty sorbet and serve it inside the skins. If you want a true sorbet (non dairy) you can omit the coconut cream, but I enjoy the tropical flavor and the extra creaminess. I kicked up the flavor with a splash of lime. Magenta and lime is such a pretty color combination. There is zero food coloring – it’s all natural!
Alas, it’s so hot so it started melting quickly – better lick it up quick. It also gives your lips a gorgeous rose red color, so no need for lipstick that day, hehe.

Dragon Fruit Sorbet / Ice Cream

2 dragon fruits
2 Tbsp sugar, to taste
3/4 cup light coconut milk
juice of 2-4 limes
1 1/2 cups crushed ice

Cut the dragon fruit in half and scrape out the flesh. Save the outside for serving.

Blend the dragon fruit flesh, sugar, coconut milk, lime juice, and ice until smooth. You can adjust to make it creamy and more like ice cream by adding more coconut milk, or make it a true sorbet by reducing / eliminating the coconut milk. Adjust sugar to taste depending on how ripe your fruit is.

Following the directions for your ice cream maker, transfer this mixture into it and churn for about 25-30 minutes. Eat as soft serve, or place in freezer for addition 2-3 hours so it firms up.

To serve, scoop the sorbet into the dragon fruit bowls. Enjoy!

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One Comment

  1. What an interesting fruit! I've never cooked with dragonfruit before (or seen the kind that is pink on the inside too) but it looks beautiful.

    Also thanks for the note about harmless renal discoloration. I'm on renal block in med school right now. If not for your tip, I'm sure I would have freaked out trying to self-diagnose myself with nephritic syndromes after eating red dragonfruit!

  2. This is fantastic! I plan on using it for a breast cancer awareness cooking competition and LOVE the colour 🙂