Spray an 8x8 glass baking dish with nonstick spray. I like using Trader Joe's coconut oil nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, mix:
1/2 C prickly pear puree (see below)
1 1/2 C natural/NSA applesauce (or puree your own apples)

In a small bowl, whisk until well mixed:
2 t powdered pectin
1/2 C sugar
Add to saucepan.

Clip a candy thermometer to the side of your saucepan. Bring to boil.
Whisk in:
2 C sugar

Bring to boil and whisk constantly until it reaches 225°. This takes around 5 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat immediately.
Your hands and arms are hating you now so shake them out.

Pour the mixture quickly into your prepared glass dish. Set aside.

After 1 hour, sprinkle some sugar on top.

Allow to dry at least 12 hours. I let it sit overnight.

Have a small bowl full of sugar ready. Cut with a sharp paring knife into the size of square you want. You'll get approx 60-200 squares depending on the size you cut them. Dredge each square into the sugar coating all sides. Place on parchment paper and dry at least 6 hours if not overnight again. Store covered, unrefrigerated for 2 (maybe more) weeks.

Now wash your hands and get a hand sugar scrub as a bonus.

For Prickly Pear puree:
Make sure these are very ripe. Scrape off thorns of the prickly pears with a sharp knife (a lot of stores & farmers markets already do this step for you). Cut off the ends of the fruit. Make a lengthwise slit through the skin and peel the skin off or cut it very closely to the skin. Discard skin. Peel the outer layer of fruit. This is the part you want. Deseed by taking the "ball" of seeds out. You can eat this like you would pomegranates but it's not good for candy.  Puree the fruit in a food processor. It will take approx 3-4 prickly pears for a 1/2 C puree.


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