Sunday, July 22, 2012

Let's make prickly pear jelly and syrup! First go out in your backyard (and Richard's backyard) and pick a bunch of prickly pears. Use a pair of tongs because the fruit have nasty spines on them.

Prickly pear fruit.

Wash them in your sink and make sure you throw out any that look damaged.


Put them in a large pot on the stove and slice up with a big knife. Turn the heat on and start to cook them, which helps break them down and extract juice. I use a potato masher to smash them up.

In the pot.

After they have cooked down, I put them in a blender to break them down further. The whole process is rather messy- my kitchen looked like a murder scene afterward.


Next is the most unpleasant part- straining them first through a metal strainer, and then through cloth (I had to use an old, clean pillowcase. This is particularly messy and time consuming.

Strainer and juice.

To make jelly I used this recipe. Start with three cups of juice and 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Bring to a boil and add two boxes of Certo. Boil one minute. Then add five cups sugar and boil it for two minutes. It thickens up nicely.

Jelly and jar lids.

The syrup is the same recipe, except no Certo.

Jelly and syrup.

I have another batch of syrup in the fridge to make another batch or two. The syrup can be used on pancakes or in margaritas. I plan on buying some tequila and make some drinks!

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