With the tip of a sharp knife, scrape off the thorns of the prickly pears. Cut off the ends of the fruit and then make a lengthwise slit through the skin and peel off and discard the skin. Repeat with the remaining fruit. Cut the fruit into large pieces, transfer to a food processor and process until pureed. Strain through a fine sieve. There should be approximately 2 cups of liquid.
In a saucepan, combine the prickly pear puree, water, sugar, mint, and the cinnamon stick. Be sure to scrape the seeds from the vanilla, and then put both the seeds and the pod into the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Taste to make sure that the flavors are balanced. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Use the syrup to ladle over fresh fruits.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Daniel Drumlake