Prickly pear fruit is abundant during the season in the Arizona desert. As Hunter and I hiked on many trails over the years we have wondered what we could make to eat from the prickly pear fruit. It was not until I attended Arizona’s Becoming an Outdoor Women weekend did we decide to make prickly pear jelly and margaritas.
Get permission to pick the fruit. I was able to connect with a landowner who permitted us to pick a 5-gallon bucket full. We wore leather gloves and used long-handled tongs to pick the ripe fruit off the ground and plant.
Preparing the Fruit
Once we brought the bucket home, we tried a few different techniques to remove the thorns. We tried burning them off, which did not work. The fastest way was to peel/cut the sides off while wearing leather gloves and using the tongs to hold the fruit.
Using a juicer, we juiced the insides. Then we filtered the juice through cloth towels multiple times to remove any extra thorns.
Prickly Pear Margaritas
There are many recipes on the internet for creating the prickly pear syrup. Just so you know you get to add a lot of sugar. Next, we blended ice with the syrup and tequila. Hunter found green sugar/salt to cover the rim. Not only did it look good, but it tasted good too. Thank you to Arizona’s Becoming an Outdoor Women group for the idea to make margaritas.
Prickly Pear Jelly
Hunter’s Mom had all the utensils for making jelly. We supplied the jars, prickly pear juice, and sugar. Notice how everything has sugar. Together we make many jars. Find your favorite recipe online and go for it. By the way, the jelly was delicious.
Food-Inspired from an Arizona Hike
Have you been on a hike and seen a fruit that you thought, I bet I can make something to eat from that? If yes, what did you or would you create?