Friday, September 10, 2010

When Life Hands You Prickly Pears

You make prickly pear puree. I have no idea why various websites give elaborate directions for removing prickly pear spines (which are called glochids, and are not to be sneezed at- and heaven help you if you do sneeze at then, you'll never get the pokey little buggers out of your nose) before slicing the fruit and steaming it to get out the juice. All I do is pick the fruit with a pair of tongs, then cut them in chunks (holding them on the cutting board with tongs) and run them through my KitchenAid juicer. It takes care of the skin, seeds, and spines all at once, and gives a nice thick puree with a scent reminiscent of melon.

From the puree you make prickly pear punch (made with puree, sugar, lemon juice and carbonated water, it tastes a bit like a citrus soda punch), and prickly pear syrup (strained puree boiled with sugar).

Also prickly pear muffins, and prickly pear gelatin. The muffins are quite good, but I should have strained the puree before making it into gelatin. The texture of the puree doesn't bother me, the kids find it a bit off-putting.

I still have puree left, and more pears on the cactus that aren't ripe yet. What shall I try next?


  1. I wondered how you got arround the pricklies. Seems like a good solution. I really liked the jelly that you made last year, but maybe that is too prosaic.

  2. The muffins were good, but the juice was a little strong for my taste. Maybe a bread?