Monday, September 7, 2009

My First Prickly Pear Syrup

In addition to a fondness for making jams and jellies, I also have a fondness for Cacti. Don't ask me where I got it from. I don't know. I just happen to think that cacti are very attractive plants.

The photo of the prickly pear fruit is one from my own garden. I don't know what variety of opuntia (the scientific name for prickly pears) it is. I didn't get it from a green house. I took cuttings from somebody else. The fruit are not as big as the prickly pear fruit that you sometimes see in the grocery store, but hey, at least it is a variety of opuntia that will survive Iowa winters. After all everything tastes better when you grow it yourself.

I had been looking at those fruit longingly for about a week wishing that I had enough to make jelly. Eventually, my cacti should spread enough that I will be able to make jelly.

When I don't have enough of some type of fruit, I have been known to fill in with apple juice, However in this case, the amount of apple juice that I would have to use would be so much that I was afraid that you wouldn't be able to taste the prickly pear.

I decided to make syrup instead. The method that I used was loosely based in this recipe. I used clear jel rather than corn starch. Then I canned it in 4 ounce jars with 1/4 inch headpace, using the waterbath method. I processed it for 10 minutes.


  1. Hi there! It's Toni in Wyoming. Prickly Pear grow wild here. I believe that I have some on my property.

    I'm off to see your recipe now. Thanks for sharing!

    I spent the day making plum jelly and tomato sauce!

  2. Didn't know one could grown prickly pears in Iowa. Learn something new everyday.

  3. A lot of people are surprised when they see my garden. Most cacti won't survive Iowa winters. There are very few that can live in Iowa.

  4. Prickly pears are also good roasted over a fire if you are camping. My dad used to make them when we were kids in Flagstaff Arizona. If you don't watch it the cacti will take over!


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