You are going to love how easy it is to make a homemade prickly pear syrup!! The cactus pear fruit is sweet and colorful! I have used this sweet syrup for cocktails, pancake syrup, and even as a natural coloring for frosting!
If you like prickly pears, you will want to try these yummy Prickly Pear Margaritas!!
What is prickly pear fruit?
Prickly pear fruit comes in several colors and varieties. I have found cactus fruit pulp in brilliant orange, and a vibrant hot pink so far.
I am lucky our little produce market often has cactus pears so that I can experiment with them!
Have you seen other colors of cactus pear fruit? Check these prickly pears out! They come in some beautiful colors!! I have made a syrup out of both orange and hot pink cactus fruits.
You can read a lot more about prickly pears and find lots of delicious recipes in my guide to prickly pears.
You are going to love how easy making this prickly pear syrup is. The hardest part is finding prickly pears. We are lucky to have a small produce market here and they have different varieties of prickly pears most of the year.
This is what cactus fruit looks like when the thorns are removed. I don't recommend buying with the thorns as they are really tough to pull off without hurting yourself.
This is what the hot pink prickly pear looks like inside.
Prickly pears have a ton of tiny, rock-hard seeds. You definitely do not want these in your syrup!
Here is what the orange prickly pear fruit looks like. I used it to make the margarita I mentioned above.
For this golden prickly pear, I didn't cook the pulp into syrup, I just strained it to mash out the liquid to make margaritas. The strainer is important because it keeps all of the seeds out of the juice.
Recipe step by step directions:
Step 1: To get the useable parts, I scoop out the flesh of the prickly pear.
Step 2: Grab a strainer and run the liquid and prickly pear through it. Use a spoon to press it into the strainer to get all of the juice out. (You can do this step before or after cooking the pear.)
Step 3: Put the flesh into a pot and simmer with ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. I simmer the syrup for about 30 minutes on really low heat until it thickens a bit. If you didn't put it through the strainer to remove the seeds, do this now.
Step 4: Allow the liquid to cool and you have your syrup! It tastes amazing with bourbon in this Prickly Pear Cocktail.
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
Prickly pear cactus fruit can vary in color from golden orange and green to hot pink.
You could technically swallow the little seeds, but do not bite them. They are rock hard. It is best to strain the cactus pear fruit to remove all of the seeds.
Most prickly pears are sold without the spines. If yours has the spines, you definitely want to find these with the spines (aka giant thorns) removed. The thorns are hard to remove and they really hurt if you accidentally prick yourself with one. Wear thick gloves and use tweezers or pliers to remove them.
This homemade cactus pear syrup will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.
I store my prickly pear syrup in an air-tight jar. You can also keep it in an air-tight storage container.
More fun sauce recipes to try:
- Sparkly Cranberry Cocktail uses a homemade cranberry reduction syrup.
- Homemade Vanilla Sauce
- Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce
- A fine mesh strainer to prevent the hard seeds from getting into the syrup.
- You will want to use a cutting board that won't stain.
Prickly Pear Syrup
- 1 ½ cups prickly pear
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup sugar
- Take your de-thorned prickly pears and cut them in half.
- Scoop out the middle fruit and add to a pot with the water and sugar.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.
- Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. When the mixture thickens, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Take a soup ladle and add one scoop of the mixture to a strainer. (Make sure the strainer is over a bowl.)
- Use a spoon to press the prickly pear mixture into the strainer to get all of the liquid out. Empty the strainer of the seeds and thick pulp and repeat until you do this with all of the prickly pear mixture.
- Chill for one hour.
- I do not recommend eating the seeds. Use a strainer to press the prickly fruit pulp through it so you can get the juice without the seeds.
- Prickly fruit comes in many different colors from golden orange to green and hot pink. Any will work well in this recipe.
- This prickly pear syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.