Prickly Pear syrup recipe

I've been doing some research into Navajo natural dyeing techniques - prickly pear fruit with it's fabulous, vivid magenta to strong pink colour would be an obvious choice. 

I was afraid of the possible, painful consequences of harvesting the fruit, but following some instruction from my somewhat experienced husband, I went ahead and I'm so glad I did. Harvesting and preparation instructions are here.

Not only did I pick and prepare enough fruit to start my yarn dyeing experiment, I also came up with a delicious syrup! Here is the recipe for you:

1.1kg ripe prickly pear fruit
500grams white sugar
1 teaspoon citric acid

When the fruit is prepared and peeled (see harvesting and preparation method here) chop each fruit into 3 and blend in a food processor. No food processor? Place in a bowl and mash really well with a potato masher. Place a strainer or colander over a large saucepan. Strain the juice, leaving the seeds in the strainer. Use a spoon to push through all that goodness. 
Once you have your juice, add the sugar and citric acid. Warm over a low heat until sugar in dissolved, then increase heat to medium until the liquid comes to a light boil. Boil for no more than 5 minutes.
Allow to cool, poor into a glass bottle or similar and keep in the fridge.

Can be used as a cordial, just mix with water, mix with mineral water and ice for a refreshing drink, drizzle over ice-cream, yoghurt, pancakes, waffles or fruit salad. Anything you would use a fruit syrup for, this syrup can be used.

Hope you enjoy it!


Sue Elvis said...


I remember prickly pear from when I lived in Queensland as a child. They were everywhere. Could they have been declared a pest, a weed? Anyway, I never realised they can be useful. You have given me a different view of them. The syrup looks delicious. Drizzled over ice-cream... That sounds good! I love the rich colour. I bet your prickly pear yarn will look beautiful. I shall watch out for some photos.

Nanna Chel said...

I meant to comment on this when you wrote your blog post, Kelly. The prickly pear is considered a pest here in Queensland but we had one that looked the same but wasn't the one that was a pest and it was growing out the front. We had a couple of visits from Council over the 30+ years it was growing and we explained it was a different species or whatever and that it never spread. My husband used to eat the fruit as they were popular in the Mediterranean country where he was born. It grew so heavy that eventually it fell over and broke the fence on the way down. Thankfully no little children were walking on the footpath at the time. I was so pleased to say goodby to it :-)

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