Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This is me embracing AZ

I set aside a Saturday a few weeks ago and put up two dozen jars of prickly pear jelly. Why do they call it "putting it up," by the way?

I used this recipe from homegrown evolution.

I do have a few different pointers about how to harvest your prickly pear fruit. I called up a friend of mine who has been canning prickly pear jelly for over 30 years. Here are a few of her pointers: don't bother burning off the spines. just harvest your fruit (with big metal tongs, like the bbq grilling tool ones), rinse it off, and then stick it in the freezer overnight. Pull it out, let it thaw, and then mash it with a potato masher. Strain the pulp twice, once with an old (but clean of course) pillow case, and the second time with a strainer and cheese cloth. Then your juice is ready! Also, it can be used for more than jelly. You can also make syrup, use it with lemonade as a drink, or marinate meat with it.

I'm so glad I called her! Not only did her pointers help out a ton, but she also had a great anecdote about not washing the pillowcase with your underwear after you are done using the case to strain out the pulp and pricklies... I will let you imagine the rest... :)


  1. Hi! I found you through Freckled Nest sponsor blog! I've never tried prickly pear, oh wait, once I had some prickly pear ice cream. It was pretty good, I'll have to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing your tips!


  2. Hi, I found you through Freckled Nest, too :)
    I've been dreaming about making jam lately, so this is super inspiring! I'll probably start with something really simply like strawberry freezer jam, though...

  3. ooo - i'll have to try some :)
    so did i know you were in tucson & just forgot? just rediscovered this - we'll have to get together for something!

  4. I admit I have never tasted that! How odd since I have had tons of family from Arizona (till all moved to Utah a few years ago). Great tip about underwear washing :)

  5. Hey Alex! I had no idea that you were in Tucson too! We should meet up sometime for lunch.

  6. Just found your blog through the Silhouette store. Just got the little tea cup pattern for an upcoming church activity. I am loving everything I see! oh and I am in Tucson as well glad to hear about other creative friends in the area :)

  7. It has been awhile since I have had prickly pear. I don't seem to see the fruit growing around as much as I did when I was younger. But that just may be because I was always looking so I could feed the tortoise.

    Oh....and I am from Tucson too. :-)