Eli has begged to make prickly pear jelly with his mom.  Due to requests, we decided to post it as our weekly recipe, even though Nana has never made it.  She has graciously let one of her daughters-in-love, Aunt Ky, post her recipe. We are thinking of using less sugar and more lemon juice next time we take on this adventure so that the jelly is more tart.

  • 4 cups prickly pear juice
  • 1 box pectin
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 4 cups sugar

Thanks for the interest in using local resources, and let us know how it turns out.  If you like spicy jams, try our hot pepper jam made from our garden-fresh jalapenos.


  • 3 cups prickly pear juice
    • (about 27 prickly pears)
  • 1 box pectin
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 ½ cups sugar


  • Burn needles off of prickly pears then peel.
  • Place pulp and seeds in a blender.  Blend all pulp until well chopped.
  • Pour into a strainer. Let sit until all juices are drained. Stir with a spoon to make sure you get as much juice as possible.  While juice is draining, prep your jars by washing them and then putting them into boiling water.
  • Hard boil cactus fruit juice, pectin, and lemon juice for 3 minutes.  Hard boil means the point at which the brew still bubbles even when you stir it.
  • Add sugar and bring back to a hard boil for 2 minutes or until the jell point is reached.
  • Pour prickly pear mixture into hot jars, filling within ¼ inch from the top. Wipe the rims of each jar with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings.
  • Let sit on cloth-covered surface for 24 hours.  Refrigerate and enjoy!


If you want it to be shelf-stable, you can water bath.

  • Place a rack in the bottom of a stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring water to a boil and lower jars, 2” apart, into the boiling water using a holder.
  • Pour in more boiling water if necessary to bring the water level to at least 1” above the tops of the jars.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the stockpot, and process for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the jars from the pot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface several inches apart, and let cool at least 24 hours.


Makes: 3 quarts or 6 ½ pints