How To Make Prickly Pear Jelly Recipe

Prickly pear jelly is a sweet and tangy spread made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus.

It has a unique flavor and a beautiful ruby-red color that make it an excellent addition to any breakfast or dessert spread.

Making prickly pear jelly at home is a fun and rewarding project, and it allows you to enjoy the delicious flavors of this unique fruit.


Prickly pear cactus is native to Mexico and has been used for food and medicine for thousands of years.

The fruit of the cactus, called tunas, is rich in vitamins and minerals and is believed to have health benefits such as regulating blood sugar and reducing inflammation.

Prickly pear jelly has a long history in Mexican cuisine, and it is now enjoyed around the world.


  • 4 cups prickly pear juice
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 box powdered pectin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt


  • Large pot
  • Canning jars and lids
  • Canning funnel
  • Ladle
  • Jar lifter
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Cheese cloth or fine-mesh strainer

Prep Time

Preparing the prickly pear fruit for juice can take some time, but the actual jelly-making process is fairly quick. Allow for 2-3 hours total time to prepare and cook the jelly.


  1. To prepare the prickly pear juice, wear gloves and use tongs to remove the fruit from the cactus. Slice off both ends of each fruit and then make a lengthwise cut down the center of the fruit. Peel back the skin and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and seeds. Place the flesh in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the puree through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining seeds.
  2. Combine the prickly pear juice, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large pot. Stir well to combine.
  3. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Add the pectin to the mixture, stirring constantly to avoid clumps. Boil the mixture for 1-2 minutes, or until the jelly reaches 220°F on a kitchen thermometer.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and skim off any foam from the top of the mixture.
  6. Ladle the hot jelly into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars clean and screw on the lids.
  7. Place the jars in a large pot of boiling water, making sure that the jars are fully submerged. Boil for 10 minutes to process the jelly.
  8. Remove the jars from the water and let them cool to room temperature. Check that the lids have sealed properly and store in a cool, dark place.


You can add other fruit juices, such as lime or orange, to the mixture to add extra flavor. You can also experiment with different types of sugar or honey to adjust the sweetness to your liking.

Serving Suggestions

Prickly pear jelly is a delicious addition to toast, biscuits, and scones. It can also be used as a glaze for meats or drizzled over ice cream for a sweet dessert.


Prickly pear jelly can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year. Once opened, it should be refrigerated and consumed within a month.


  • Wear gloves and use tongs when handling prickly pear fruit to avoid getting pricked by the cactus spines.
  • Make sure your canning jars and lids are


Can I use frozen prickly pears to make this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen prickly pears, but it is important to let them thaw completely before using them.

Can I use a different type of fruit to make jelly?

Yes, you can use different types of fruit, but keep in mind that different fruits will require different amounts of sugar and pectin.

Can I make this recipe with low-sugar or no-sugar pectin?

A: Yes, you can use low-sugar or no-sugar pectin, but keep in mind that this will affect the set of the jelly.


Making prickly pear jelly is a great way to preserve the delicious and unique flavor of prickly pears.

This recipe is simple and easy to follow, and it yields a beautiful and flavorful jelly that is perfect for spreading on toast, biscuits, or scones.

With just a few ingredients and a bit of patience, you can create a tasty and unique jelly that is sure to impress your friends and family.

So why not give this recipe a try? You won’t be disappointed!

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