Prickly Pear Jelly
Prickly Pear, also know as "tuna" or "cactus pear", is the fruit that grows on top of the leaves of Nopales Cacti. Around 200 varieties of Nopales are found growing throughout North and South America, the most famous and well loved being the prickly pear. The edible varieties of prickly pear fruit are host to a list of health benefits including: high levels of vitamin C benefiting our immune systems, significant amounts of fiber, potassium and betalains to aid digestion/heart health, and high levels of antioxidants and minerals which aid in our overall health. Whichever way you choose to incorporate the prickly pear into your diet, you'll be sure to enjoy the vibrant colors and sweet taste of this fruit.
*Yield: 4 to 5 cups
Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly Ingredients:
4 cups cactus juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
½ cup lemon or lime juice
¾ cup up to 1 cup honey or 1 ¼ cups up to 2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons up to 5 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder
Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly Directions:
1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small saucepan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
2. Prepare prickly pear cactus juice.*(Use metal tongs to harvest the ripe fruit from your cactus. Carefully rinse fruits while tumbling in a large colander to remove the prickly spines. Boil spine-free fruits in a large pot filled 1/3 with water, mashing the boiling fruit until it becomes a thick juice. Remove the juice from heat and strain once through a metal strain discarding and seed or pulp, then through cheese cloth until juice is completely free of pulp and seed).
3. Measure juice into saucepan.
4. Add calcium water and lemon juice and mix well.
5. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.
6. Bring juice mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
7. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.