Sunday, July 13, 2008

Prickly Pear Jelly...

I seem to be concentrating on recipes this week... the thing is that I'm helping my Mother put together a recipe book for my niece of all the "family" recipes, so I guess I got them on my mind...

That and I was looking at Aiyana's fabulous blog, Water When Dry, (link to the right) and she had some pictures of her optunia fruits that were ripening, and mentioned her prickly pear vinaigrette, and I remembered that I mentioned I was gonna publish this recipe back in May, and had let it slip my mind. Anyway, this is the recipe, easier than you'd think!

Prickly Pear Jelly

1 quart of Prickly Pears (or Tuna as they're called) to yield 2 1/2 cups of juice
1 package powdered pectin (the liquid doesn't work for this recipe)
3 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
3 1/2 cups sugar

Use ripe fruit... If the fruit is very ripe, try to mix a few greenish ones in for natural pectin. It is not necessary to burn or cut off the spines, as they will disappear during the straining process... Wash the pears well, cut in half then place in a pot with water to cover. Boil till very tender and soft, this is necessary to get all the juice.

Strain through a jelly bag, or a collander lined with heavy gauze or lightweight muslin. hang the jelly bag to let the juice drip into a bowl, or tie the gauze or muslin and hang... let juice sit long enough for any sediment to settle. For clear jelly, don't use cloudy juice...

for every 2 1/2 cups juice, add 1 pkg powdered pectin. bring to a boil... add citrus juice & sugar. Bring to a boil that can't be stirred down, and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, skim (important for clear jelly) and pour into sterilized jars - seal with hot canning lids or hot paraffin.

The taste & color of the jelly depends on the variety & color of the pears... The ones in our back alley produce fruit that are deep purple, and make a jelly that is deep magenta and most people describe as tasting like cranberries and raspberries blended together.

You can also freeze the juice in 2 1/2 cup 'bricks' to make jelly later if your not up to making the recipe all in one day, or you're making a lot of juice at once...


  1. I will have to try this if I have enough of the pears to make 2-1/2 cups. I would probably freeze the juice and split the process over a couple of days.
    p.s. Thanks for the mention!

  2. Oh, you and Aiyana are very adventurous! We are able to buy these things here, but the thorns are such a pain. I want to try some of ya'lls recipes tho...maybe this week I will go to the mexican market and pick some up!

  3. Anonymous12:59 PM

    I add about 24 habanero peppers to the fruit when I am boiling down the fruit. It makes an excellent firey hot jelly