Acquiring prickly pear fruit (called “tuna” in Spanish) for juice may be dangerous (thorns, snakes, angry longhorns who have been eating prickly pear), but the effort is well worth it. Use a propane torch to burn off thorns from tuna before picking.
Prickly Pear Jelly
4 cups prickly pear juice, about 40 cactus fruit (tuna)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 packages powdered pectin
3/4 cup hot cinnamon candy (7-ounce box)
4 cups unsweetened apple juice
7 cups sugar
Steam tuna until soft. Push through colander. Strain resulting pulp through jelly cloth or cheese cloth to collect juice.
In large pan, stir together prickly pear juice, lemon juice and pectin.
Place hot candy in apple juice. Microwave 3 minutes; stir. Repeat microwaving and stirring until dissolved.
Stir apple juice mixture into pear juice mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar and return to a rolling boil. Maintain a rolling boil while stirring constantly 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir until foam is reabsorbed.
Pack into clean jars. Wipe rims of jars with clean, wet cloth. Seal. Process in hot water bath or pressure cooker according to manufacturer’s directions. Yields 10 to 12 8-ounce jars.