Friday, September 18, 2009
First and foremost: I am in desperate need of a new camera.
Last night I had a fun group of ladies from my church over to learn how to make and can homemade jellies and jams. The main ingredient: Prickly Pears aka Tunas.
Yes, I totally forgot those things are also called tunas. I promise they don't smell anything like fish though. Thank goodness 'cause that would just be gross. Although I hear Bacon Jam is quite good (ew!).
Oh crud, I promise that I have a point here...redirecting.
I decided to give my lesson on home preparation of jellies a twist on the every day run of the mill class taught. I thought it would be fun to show these ladies how they can use wild fruits that they pick themselves to make great tasting jellies and jams for their families or to give away as gifts for Thanksgiving and Christmas. After all, it's not every day that you find a jar of mustang grape, hog plum, Texas persimmon, or prickly pear cactus jelly.
We had lots of fun...June Cleaver style. We even had the outdated kitchen to match.
Prickly Pear Jelly
1 cup prickly pear juice
3 cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 pouch (3 oz) of LIQUID pectin
Combine prickly pear juice, lemon juice and sugar in a medium size saucepan. Cook over medium high heart, stirring frequently. Once mixture begins to boil, start timer and boil for two minutes. All at once add liquid pectin. Allow mixture to come back to a boil and cook for two to three minutes more. The longer you cook, the firmer this jelly will be.
Remove mixture from heat and pour into sterilized 8 oz jelly jars. Fills four 8 oz jelly jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. See canning instructions here.
Note: Use only LIQUID pectin for this recipe or you will get unreliable results.
PS: Check out Screwed Up Texan Recipes for even more delicious recipes. There you can find a post on how to juice the prickly pears.
Can you tell I am also in desperate need of a new stove? This 1974 mustard yellow range has seen better days.
I'll also have a post up soon on how to can the prickly pear jelly. You might not want to listen to me though since I have been known to do cheap tricks like this:
But who needs a new stove or a canner when there's ice cream makers...time to eat a bowl of prickly pear ice cream. Don't ever leave me alone with one of these contraptions--an awesome gift from one of my readers. Thank you Sherrie!