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So, I’m in NC and harvested some prickly pears for the first time. I’ve scorched off most of the glochids, removed most of the seeds and blended the heck out of them. I’m in the process of trying to shove the slurry through a very fine metal sieve…but it is SOOOO VISCOUS!!! I’ve added some water to try and thin it a bit. I’m not sure I will even be able to get to the clean t-shirt part. I’d like to make this into a syrup but I’m still worried about any glochids I may have missed and the viscosity…advice?
Hi, Rachel! Did you peel the prickly pears or just scorch then blend them? It is thick and pulpy, so it will take bit to push the puree through the sieve.
I like to burn and boil mine. I’m usually making prickly pear margaritas, so have to boil for the syrup anyway. http://thoughtforyourpenny.com/lifestyle/how-to-harvest-and-prepare-prickly-pears/
Hi Brian, I’ve heard about that method! Thank you for sharing it with us.
I just harvested and made a gallon of juice , would love a margarita recipe…share?
That is the right way .. one more thing you should do before cutting .. Soak in water for around 6 hours to soften its thorns .. i do that all the time in Egypt and it works like magic
That is such a great tip, Mohamed. Thank you for sharing that!
Here’s a hint if you get the prickles in your skin (which I did, it was my first time trying a prickly pear fruit from my neighbour’s cactus in Melbourne, Australia!)
Press a piece of sticky tape or duct tape over the spikes, then carefully peel it off going in the same direction. It will help to pull them out.
I’m soooooo happy to find this article after having this fruit for a week and not knowing what it was or how to eat it. Thanx to my friend for telling me the name and I googled it and this page pop up.
I think this is a great article about Prickly Pear fruit. It shows exactly how to peel the fruit, a task that intimidates some people. I am well familiar with Prickly Pears and have a Web site about them. There are 90 varieties in the USA.
what is your site
/Best Margarita I ever had was fresh prickly pear in Sedna some 25 years ago.
I’m no expert, but I prefer the magenta(?) colored to the yellow. My experience in blending/processing with seeds produced a bitter juice. Take the time to press pulp & lease seeds behind.
My dad used to singe them in the campfire to get the tiny, OUCHY, (ask me how I know) needles off. It isn’t long enough to cook the fruit but just long enough to burn the ouchies off.
Where I grew up, New Mexico, they were all over the place and we camped often.
I just throw them in a pot with a little water and boil them for about 10 minutes. Then smash it through a sieve. There isn’t no need to scrub off the needles. They dissolve when you cook them.
That’s what I do, too! I can’t believe people go to all the trouble of burning them when you can just let the water do the work. (That’s my usual approach to dishes as well.)
I’m patiently waiting for my prickly pears to arrive from AZ, a friend is sending….I’m certain I’ll be making margaritas!!
Thanks! I picked up a couple of prickly pears at Horrock’s Market in Kentwood, MI last week, but didn’t really know what to do with them. I wanted to try something new, and I was sure I could google it. Tthat’s how I found your post. I was going to try to eat the seeds, but they were just too hard for me to chew through. I wound up blending it up, straining out the seeds, and then making a simple smoothie by blending the remaining juice with a banana. It’s delicious. :-) Thanks for the tips on how to cut it open!
I brought a blow torch with me and burned the spines off before picking them. Worked great.
Thanks for the tip about using the juicer. I’m going to try that! Making sorbet.
My prickly pears came from Maryland USA and they have yellow flowers on them and when the stickers get in your skin it can hurt and they are hard to get out! Are these different than the one that I see on this blog? Or are they the same? Really would like to know and thanks for your help!
Hi Dianne, the needles hurt, don’t they? And they are hard to get out. Prickly pears have all different colors of flowers from yellow to orange to pink. As far as I know, they’re the same plant, but perhaps a different variety. You can find more info on prickly pears here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opuntia
Dianne, if you have the prickly pear native to Maryland, it is Opuntia humifusa. I have that species and the fruits are much smaller than the larger fruits that are more commonly used for eating (different species). I use the fruits primarily as treats for bearded dragons, but you can eat them yourself. I fnd it easiest to slice off the larger end and squeeze out the contents, using tongs or leather gloves. The tiny needles will go through thin leather, though! My neighbors laugh when they see me weeding my cactus pot with tongs and chopsticks.
After cleaning off the thorns, I cut the pear apples in half, put in tall pan, cover with water and boil for 3-4 hours until softened. Pour juice and pear apples through a stainless steel cone canning sieve colander and using the wooden pestle press out the juice and some pulp. Discard the skin, seeds left in the colander. When all the juice is extracted, I wash the colander and pestle and put a cloth in the colander pour the juice through a second time which leaves only the juice. Discard cloth and remaining seeds etc. 6cups juice, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 8 to 10 cups sugar 1/2 tsp butter, 2 2/3 pkgs SureJel. Heat juice add surejell, bring to boil. Add butter, lemon juice and sugar, bring to boil and boil for 4 minutes. Put in washed jars leaving 1 inch to top. Place lids, that have been in hot water for 5 minutes, on jars and apply rings. Put in boiling bath canner that has hot water covering the jars 2 to 3 inches. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner with jar remover tongs. Cover with towel. You will hear a click when jars seal. Makes 7 pints.
Hi Mike, adding 1/4 teaspoon or 1/2 a teaspoon to a jelly batch is pretty standard. It helps keep the jelly from foaming up too much and overflowing the pot.
Got it. Thanks!
Pickly pear wine!!! Yum
One of the local wineries makes it.
here we made prickly pear syrup, no sugar added, suitable to prepare pancake, ice cream, spreading…
Would love that recipe selekt.
I would like a recipe to make prickly pear jam please. If you can help me please.
I just got some prikly pears, they are small, I have cleaned them, peeled them, put them in my ninja, out it thru a strainer to rove the seeds. But what was left seems stringy. I am putting it yet
Thru the server again. Is it still good to make jelly or jam. It is not juice clear.
when is the best time to pick them I would like to make some fruit leather rout of them?
My sons picked over 3 lbs of prickly pear fruit off the cactus the other day, July 17, 2018 south of San Antonio, TX.
I made Prickley pear jelly last year and it was clear and a hit with everyone who tried it. This year the juice is cloudy and the jelly is still tasty but not as good. why is the juice so cloudy?
Great question, I have no idea!