Prickly pear syrup and prickly pear jelly are two foods made with prickly pear cactus fruit. Use the syrup on top of pancakes, in cocktails or as the base for sorbets. Low-sugar prickly pear jelly brings out the subtle flavor of the fruit, known as "tuna" in Mexico.
To make 2 pints of prickly pear syrup, remove the prickles from 12 large prickly pear fruits, and then peel the fruit with a paring knife. Chop the pulp, and place it in a large pot with enough water to cover it. Bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth, return it to the pot, add 2 cups of sugar and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, and then bring it to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar, and skim the scum on the surface as it boils. Pour the syrup into canning jars, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
To make 3 pints of prickly pear jelly, mix 4 cups of prickly pear juice, strained through cheesecloth, with 1/2 cup of lemon juice in a pot. Mix 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 package of low- or no-sugar pectin. Add to the juice, and bring to a boil. Add 2 3/4 cups of sugar, and boil for one more minute, stirring constantly. Pour the syrup into six 8-ounce canning jars, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.