Pitaya, or dragon fruit, is a tropical fruit with ruby-red or white flesh speckled by tiny black seeds. Pitaya grow on a vine-like cactus plant and the fruits themselves come in either a spined or scale variety and a smoother skinned, spineless variety. When mature, the fruit is about 5 inches long and a red or yellow skin. Whether you grow your own dragon fruit or purchase it from a market, preparing the fruits to eat alone or make it into ice cream, jam or as pies filling.
Cut the mature dragon fruit off the cactus vine with a sharp knife. Cut the stem off flush with the fruit when harvesting, leaving no stub or stem piece on the fruit.
Rinse off the outside of the dragon fruit in running water to remove any dust or dirt. Set the fruit on a cutting board and cut in half lengthwise after rinsing.
Push a spoon between the fruit and the skin in one of the dragon fruit halves. Scoop out the white or red edible fruit and place it aside. Repeat for the other half of the dragon fruit. The flesh easily scoops out and likely can be removed in one piece.
Cut each of the scooped out fruit halves into 1-inch cubes or any other desired size pieces. Serve immediately or freeze in sealed bags for use in cooked pastries or iced desserts later.
Things You Will Need
- Cutting board
- Store the harvested, whole dragon fruits in the refrigerator for up to one week before preparing and using.
- Wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting dragon fruit, especially the types with spines. Heavy gloves are necessary for spined varieties.
- While the seeds are edible, the skin of dragon fruit isn't. Make sure to remove all traces of skin from the fruit prior to serving.