Recipe: prickly pear jelly

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Recipe: prickly pear jelly

Prickly Pear Jelly
This recipe comes from the University of Arizona. The desert is just filled with this wonderful fruit, free for the taking.

2 1/2 cups juice, 1 quart fruit
Water to cover in kettle
1 package powdered pectin (not liquid)
3 tablespoons lemon or Mexican lime juice
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Sterilized jelly glasses
Melted paraffin

Use red, ripe, tuna (fruit). If fruit is very ripe, try to include some under-ripe ones to add pectin. A handy way to gather fruit is to use a long-handled fork or tongs and a heavy paper bag. It is not necessary to burn off the spines, as they will come off when fruit is pressed through cheesecloth or filter paper. Brush the pears with a vegetable brush. Wash and place in a kettle with just enough water to cover. Boil until quite tender and soft. This is necessary to extract all juice. Set juice aside so sediment will settle to bottom of container. For clear jelly do not use pectin containing sediment.

For each 2 1/2 cups juice, add 1 package powdered pectin (more successful than liquid pectin in this recipe). Bring to a fast boil, stirring constantly. Add lemon or lime juice and sugar. Bring to a hard boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil for 3 minutes. Timing is important to get a product that will jell. Remove from heat; skim and pour into sterilized glasses. Cover with a layer of melted paraffin.