August 3rd, 2016
My wife and I recently had prickly pear margaritas. It was so delicious, we wanted to give it our best college try. I read a lot of long winded how-to’s online but none of them seemed very efficient. My buddy at work told me tales of a freezing method last summer so I installed that method with a few other ideas I found in other articles online. Here’s how we did it with no unnecessary back stories or search engine optimized crap, just the nitty gritty!
Before we begin, here’s a few suggestions:
- Be in a region where prickly pear cacti grow.
- Don’t trespass for the sake of picking prickly pears.
- Make sure you come back here and let me know how it went.
- Try not to destroy the plant, leave some prickly pears behind for wildlife and aesthetics.
- Try not to get tired of the words prickly and pear.
Here’s the Steps
Step 1: Get yerself 3 buckets, two foot long 2x4s, a grease screen for frying pans, a pillowcase, a potato masher, some mason jars (any storage will work) and some tongs or two if you have help.
Step 2: Pick the prickly pears. Fill one buck, or half the bucket, or a quarter of the bucket. (I guess the juice goes bad fast so don’t go overboard)
Step 3: Wash the pears. I just cleaned off my patio and laid them out and rinsed them down thoroughly with the hose.
Step 4: Freeze the prickly pears. This step may be difficult if you don’t have a big freezer like we have, but we also went a little overboard with our prickly pear haul (which I told you in step 2 not to do) so if you limit your hunt, you may have enough room in your freezer.
Step 5: Prep your tools. Put empty bucket #1 on the ground, put grease screen over bucket, stack the 2x4s on the edges (as seen in the photo below), put empty bucket #2 on top of the 2x4s, line bucket #2 with pillowcase or liner.
Step 6: Fill bucket #2 with prickly pears and wait for them to thaw. Once they thaw, they’ll fall apart and the juice will filter into the bucket below.
Step 7: Mash em’ down for good measure.
Step 8: Fill up your storage, share with your friends, and enjoy!
*Disclaimer: This is one couple’s attempt at making prickly pear juice. This is by no means an expert how-to. If you would like history on the prickly pear, you came to the wrong place pardner.
Things we might try next time:
- First off, we ended up filling 9 20 oz. Mason jars almost to the top. You can only use a little at time so a little goes a long way and you can only store the juice in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Next time we’ll maybe do a quarter bucket.
- Maybe drop the grease screen. Seems like overkill on the filtering. The pillowcase seemed to work just fine and it probably would have expedited the process.
- Be picky about the prickly; we just grabbed as many pears as we could that looked decent. Maybe next time we’ll go quality over quantity.
- Skin the pears. Our juice has a little more of an earthy taste than the one we had tried before.
If you’re an expert, please share what you think of this method and what you would have done differently. If you tried this method, I’d love to know how it went for you.
Thanks for reading!