Prickly Pears the Third

Prickly Pear cooking seems extra popular this summer. Same where you are? Seems everywhere suddenly has a cooking or canning class, all with advice on best methods for straining out the tiny stickers.
a good crop

In listening to the promo for one such local adventure series, we heard the advice "....but don't try making jam. Prickly Pear jam is too hard."
Now you tell me! Yes, I had to try it again for a third summer. Even experimented with some "gourmet" jam inventions.....more on that later.

Commercial juice press!
This year we added technology for getting ALL the juice from those little cactus fruits! Press is much easier/faster than hand pressing and straining. I still believe in peeling and cold pressing for best jam without stickers.

Also tried dying fabric again. Prickly Pear is such a lovely purple! It would be so yummy to quilt with. Turns out neither salt nor vinegar are suitable mordants for prickly pear. The next step will be to try alum. But not this summer.

So you know what is a bad idea? Prickly Pear Tequila jam. Hey, it sounded good right?
I'm not sure about this Prickly Pear Champagne jam. It is more orange color than our regular prickly pear jam. And more...robust? I'll send you some if you want to try it. Always glad for a second opinion :)
baby prickly pear cactus

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