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This is my grandmother's recipe. It is good on anything grape jelly is good on! Handle prickly pears carefully, wearing gloves. Store jelly in a cool, dark area.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
38 mins
additional:
1 day
total:
1 day
Servings:
24
Yield:
3 pints, or 6 half-pints
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Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Simmer 3 pint-size jars in a large pot of water until ready for use. Wash lids and rings in warm soapy water.

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  • Slice ends off each prickly pear. Make 1 long vertical slit down each one. Use the slit to hold the skin and peel off. Discard peel.

  • Place peeled pears in a blender; puree in batches until liquefied. Press puree through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Discard pulp and seeds.

  • Measure out 3 cups prickly pear juice, lemon juice, and pectin into a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar and return to a boil, stirring constantly. Let cook, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Pour prickly pear mixture into hot jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings.

  • Place a rack in the bottom of a stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars 2 inches apart into the boiling water using a holder. Pour in more boiling water if necessary to bring the water level to at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the stockpot, and process for 15 minutes.

  • Remove the jars from the pot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, and let cool, at least 24 hours.

Nutrition Facts

193 calories; protein 0.9g; carbohydrates 48.8g; fat 0.6g; sodium 5.8mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (9)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
11/14/2016
Based on the other reviewer's remarks, I was concerned that this wouldn't set, so I looked at some other recipes on-line and sort of merged them with this. Here's what I did: All the fruit from my 2 cacti. I have no idea how many. Cut them in half lengthwise. Did NOT skin them. Put them in a pot with an inch of water in the bottom and boiled and smashed them for 30 minutes. Strained the juice using my nut bag. Don't worry. The prickles seem to boil down with the juice. Ended up with about 6 cups juice. Added juice from one lemon to the cooled prickly pear juice. Added 2 boxes pectin. Brought to hard boil. Added 8 cups sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon (Why not? I like cinnamon) and brought back to a boil x 1 min. Canned with 1/8 inch head space. No problems setting for me, but my photo is the lighter colored jelly. Your fruit will have more natural pectin when it is barely ripe. Mine probably technically should have stayed on the plant longer. But - The 10 y/o has tasted and approves and it set well, so no complaints. Probably will make every year when my cacti fruits. Read More
(21)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
11/20/2016
PCLARKRN I wonder if I could "redo" the batch and add two boxes of pectin? I used two with a double batch. Thanks! Read More
(1)
13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
11/14/2016
Based on the other reviewer's remarks, I was concerned that this wouldn't set, so I looked at some other recipes on-line and sort of merged them with this. Here's what I did: All the fruit from my 2 cacti. I have no idea how many. Cut them in half lengthwise. Did NOT skin them. Put them in a pot with an inch of water in the bottom and boiled and smashed them for 30 minutes. Strained the juice using my nut bag. Don't worry. The prickles seem to boil down with the juice. Ended up with about 6 cups juice. Added juice from one lemon to the cooled prickly pear juice. Added 2 boxes pectin. Brought to hard boil. Added 8 cups sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon (Why not? I like cinnamon) and brought back to a boil x 1 min. Canned with 1/8 inch head space. No problems setting for me, but my photo is the lighter colored jelly. Your fruit will have more natural pectin when it is barely ripe. Mine probably technically should have stayed on the plant longer. But - The 10 y/o has tasted and approves and it set well, so no complaints. Probably will make every year when my cacti fruits. Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
10/04/2017
I think that I have prickly pear jam and not jelly as there is some pulpy stuff that floated to the top of the jar! That being said this recipe was pretty easy. I added a bit less sugar and boiled it for about 5 minutes then processed for about 30 minutes. (I live at 6500 ft so made altitude adjustments) I used the jar of pectin (about 2 packages ) for 6 cups of prickly pear juice. It seems to have set up well and it sure tasted yummy when I licked the scraper. I got 12 half pint jars from 6 cups of juice and 8 cups of sugar. Super fun gift from the cactus in my neighborhood.:) Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
08/31/2018
Cactus handling tips: pick your prickly pears with all metal tongs and place in a metal bowl (cactus spines stick in plastic and silicone). Burn off the spines before handling the fruit. I used the metal tongs and my gas range burner. The spines will flame slightly, smolder, then leave a soot mark on the fruit. This makes them easy to peel, too, as the flame has a blanching-type effect. I ended up with 5 1/2 cups of strained prickly pear juice/puree, so I expanded the recipe accordingly (8 1/4 cups sugar, 3 2/3 oz lemon juice). I also used Pomona's universal pectin so my technique was slightly different with cooking - I added the Pomona's calcium water to the juices (5 1/2 teaspoons). Then I added only 2 cups of sugar mixed with the Pomona's pectin (5 1/2 teaspoons) until it was dissolved, then added the rest of the sugar. This started to set up before I even got it into my canning jars, so I was sure I ruined it. I was wrong! It set up beautifully and spreads like a dream. It tastes amazing. If I had to do it all over I'd add a wee bit more lemon juice; our prickly pears were super ripe. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 4 stars
10/02/2017
I made this jelly twice the first batch was with orange and red prickly pear. The orange variety set up nicely the red remained liquid so it would make a nice beverage syrup or syrup for pancakes or waffles very tasty. the second batch I just made using the red fruit I used a pectin and calcium mix and it really thickened up so I expect once it is out of the canner it should jell nicely. Read More
(2)
Rating: 3 stars
11/19/2016
PCLARKRN I wonder if I could "redo" the batch and add two boxes of pectin? I used two with a double batch. Thanks! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
09/24/2018
Made prickly pear/jalapeño used four cups sugar two oz of pectin first time yummy thanks Read More
(1)
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Rating: 3 stars
11/22/2018
I made one batch following the recipe exactly and ended up with syrup. The next three batches I doubled the amount of pectin and they all came out beautifully. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/12/2020
Great, easy to use recipe! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
08/23/2019
Turned out great! Thanks I like videos it helps me visualize what it suppose to look like. I used this site and another site to get it right. Read More