Before You Begin
1.Wear gloves when handling cactus pears: while the main thorns on a cactus pear are usually removed before they are shipped to retailers, there are still tiny spines left on each pear which are highly irritating.
2.Peel the fruit and cut peeled fruit into quarters. Place fruit in a large pot and put just enough water to cover fruit; let sit for 20 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Mash with a potato masher and strain the juice and water through a colander with two layers of cheesecloth to remove the seeds and pulp.
3.When the fruit is mashed and the juice is in the pot, remove the colander and discard the pulp. It takes about 15 to 17 prickly pear fruits to make 2 ½ cups of juice.
- 2 1/2 cups prickly pear cactus juice
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 box of powdered pectin (18 teaspoons-note that not all pectin brands contain the same amount in a box, so measure it out to make sure)
Hard boil cactus fruit juice, pectin and lemon juice for 3 minutes (hard boiling is the point at which the brew still bubbles even when you stir it). Add sugar and bring back to a hard boil for 2 minutes or until the jelling point is reached. Put in 8 ounce canning jars, seal and process according to the canning instructions for high acid foods. Seal while hot with sterilized 2-piece lids with new lid centres.