Monday, July 14, 2014

Let's harvest some prickly pears.

My prickly pear cactus made lots of fruit this year. I decided to make some syrup.
Prickly pear.

I used my hotdog tongs to twist them off the pad, careful to avoid the thorns.
Close-up of fruit.

I filled my big pot.


A website recommended burning off the thorns, which seemed like a good idea. They lit up like a firecracker.

Impossible to hold the cactus fruit and take a non-blurry picture.

I blended the fruit one at a time. I mostly avoided making a bloody mess.


I strained the pulp once, removing the seeds and shredded skin. I then strained it a second time to make sure no thorns got through.

Starting straining.

I was left with about 12.5 cups of juice. I added four cups sugar and 9 teaspoons lemon juice and starting cooking it down.


My house was already so hot I decided to make thick juice instead of syrup. I ended up 11 pints worth.

Canned. The jars are popping now.

Here is the irony. I don't really like prickly pear. These jars will be gifts to other more appreciative folks. I'll probably save one or two for All Souls Procession cocktails.

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