Prickly Pear Jam


Prickly pears make a uniquely flavorful and pretty pink jam. After reading that prickly pears are covered with barely visible spines, I was a bit shaky. Pro tip: Put on a pair of work gloves to rub the spines from the fruit; then rinse pears under running water. The texture reminds me of kiwis, and I added a bit of amaretto to kick it up a notch.

close up view of a pile of toast with Prickly Pear Jam on a colorful plate, and Prickly Pear Jam in jars in the background
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
12 hrs
Total Time:
12 hrs 45 mins
1 1/2 quarts of jam


  • 8 prickly pears

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 ½ tablespoons powdered fruit pectin

  • 1 teaspoon powdered fruit pectin

  • 2 ½ cups white sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons amaretto liqueur


  1. Inspect a 1-quart jar and 1-pint jar for cracks and rings for rust, discarding any that are defective. Immerse jars in simmering water until jam is ready. Wash new, unused lids and rings in warm soapy water.

  2. Wear protective gloves to rub and rinse prickly pears under running water to make sure all spines are removed. Cut each pear in half; scoop pulp and seeds and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer mixture to a strainer lined with cheesecloth set over a bowl. Gather cheesecloth into a pouch and squeeze out juice. Remove any remaining pulp from seeds and add to the bowl with juice.

  3. Combine prickly pear juice, pectin, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down. Add sugar and amaretto; stir until completely dissolved. Return mixture to a rolling boil, constantly stirring. Cook until jam is reduced by half, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Remove jam from heat. Skim off and discard any froth that may have formed. Dip a metal spoon into jam to test for desired thickness. Add another 1/2 teaspoon of pectin and boil for 1 minute more if you desire a thicker jam.

  5. Pack jam into hot, sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a clean knife or thin spatula around the insides of the jars to remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims with a moist paper towel to remove any spills. Top with lids and screw rings on tightly.

  6. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill it halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars 2 inches apart into boiling water using a holder. Pour in more boiling water to cover jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil, cover, and process for 10 minutes.

  7. Remove jars from the stockpot and let rest, several inches apart, for 12 to 24 hours. Press the center of each lid with a finger to ensure the lid does not move up or down. Remove the rings for storage and store jam in a cool, dark area.


There are lots of seeds and they are edible, but tough to chew.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

29 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 80
Calories 29
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Potassium 23mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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