A Prickly Kinda Love

I love prickly pears ! Always have.
It isnt a well known or common fruit, but  as I child I remember my dad skillfully using a sharp knife and a strategically placed fork to slice and unpeel the flesh from the tough prickly skin.
The treasure was then popped in the fridge until sufficiently chilled, then we would eat the deliciously sweet fruit on the top step of the swimming pool with the juice running down our chins. Bliss.
I have wanted to do an article on prickly pears for the longest time, and just never “got my act together “
So, imagine my delight when I was recently approached by the Cactus Growers Association to develope recipes for them. They even sent the fruit with a courier service! Now I had no excuse 🙂
Below are some of our pictures and my ***recipes. Enjoy.
Orange flesh prickly pears and prickly pear syrup
 Prickly Pear Syrup

 Makes approx  1.5 litres

15 ripe prickly pears, peeled & chopped
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
¼ cup lemon juice

  1. Place chopped fruit and water in a large pot over medium heat on the stove.
  2. Stir occasionally and allow fruit to cook down to a pulp, about 20 – 30 minutes
  3. Use a potato masher or stick blender to mash pulp
  4. Strain pulp through a fine sieve, and discard pips
  5. Return liquid to pot and add the sugar, bring to the boil and skim the foam from the top, and add the lemon juice
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 -40 minutes until reduced and syrupy.
  7. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.
  8. If using immediately, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate for up to one month.

Use as a syrup on waffles or pancakes, as a Spritzer with soda water, or mix with vodka and lemonade over crushed ice for an unusual cocktail.


Prickly Pear, fennel, feta & orange salad & pink fleshed prickly pears

 Prickly Pear, Fennel, Feta and Orange Salad

Serves 4

 2 fennel bulbs, washed and thinly sliced.
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments.
8 prickly pear , peeled and sliced.
150 g feta cheese, crumbled.
juice of 1 lemon.
100ml extra virgin olive oil.

  1. Arrange fennel, oranges, and prickly pear on a platter or individual plates.
  2. Scatter over crumbled feta cheese and drizzle with olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve with pita bread or grilled flat breads

Prickly Pear, mint and cucumber juice/ Green flesh prickly pears

Prickly Pear, Cucumber, Ginger & Mint Juice

Makes 1 glass

 3 ripe green prickly pears, peeled and chopped.
1 cm knob fresh ginger (optional)
½ English cucumbers
2 sprigs mint

  1.  Feed all the ingredients through the feeder tube of a juice extractor.
  2. Discard pulp
  3. Serve juice garnished with sprigs of mint


*** Other recipes and pictures will be released by the Cactus Growers Association- look out for them ! 


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