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Cactus Jelly (Prickly Pear Jelly)

  • One gallon cactus tunas
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 boxes of fruit pectin
  • 6 cups sugar

Gather about one gallon of cactus tunas (prickly pear fruit), and burn the stickers from each tuna over a candle flame. An ice pick or fondue form is handy for holding the tunas during this operation.

Now scrape away the burned sticker residue from the fruit with the edge of a sharp knife.

The fruit can now be peeled easily, but rubber gloves are recommended to keep the juice from dying your hands purple.

Cut the peeled tunas into quarters and place them in a saucepan, seeds and all, with just enough water to show through the fruit.

Bring the water to a gentle boil, cover, and allow the fruit to cook for about an hour.

Strain the juice from the pulp and seeds, and to 3 3/4 c. of juice add 1/2 c. of lemon juice and 1 1/2 boxes of fruit pectin. Bring this mixture to a boil and add 6 c. of sugar.

Allow the mixture to cook for three minutes. Remove the jelly from the heat and allow it to cool for 45 minutes; skim off the foam and pour the jelly into hot, sterilized jars. Seal the jars immediately with canning lids or allow the jelly to set and seal it with melted paraffin.

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