Prickly pears are gorgeous, colourful fruits that grow in places like the United States and Mexico. If you are lucky enough to have them growing near you or have a store that stocks them, here is a roundup of prickly pear recipes to give you ideas of how to highlight their beautiful colour and taste!
On this list, you will find my refreshing Prickly Pear Juice and Prickly Pear Margarita. However, prickly pear fruit is highly diverse and there is a multitude of ways to use them.
These recipes give you information regarding how to harvest and peel prickly pears while also giving you many ideas on how to use them. The sweet taste makes them wonderful for desserts and popsicles, but there are definitely savoury options as well.
1. Prickly Pear Juice
This juice is wonderful for when you have a bunch of prickly pears on hand to use up. You can enjoy it on its own or combine it with other ingredients to make delicious cocktails. This juice also works well in the freezer. If you place it in ice cube trays, you can add them to a cold beverage or blend them up into a delicious morning smoothie!
2. Prickly Pear Syrup
This syrup is the perfect fuchsia add-in for cocktails but you can also put it in sparkling water if it needs a flavour boost. Also, consider drizzling it over pancakes rather than maple syrup or on top of ice cream instead of the usual fudge sauce or butterscotch.
3. Prickly Pear Margarita
One of the best poolside drinks is certainly this rosy-coloured margarita complete with a salt-rimmed glass and lime wedge! It is not so dissimilar from your usual margarita except that it has the intriguing addition of prickly pear juice which amps up both the flavour and beauty of a classic margarita cocktail.
4. Prickly Pear Lemonade
This is a nice, quick blender recipe that highlights the sweet taste of prickly pear and the tartness of lemon juice! If you like, you can leave the seeds from the prickly pear cactus fruits in the blender for some intriguing texture, but the drink can just as easily be strained as well.
5. Healthy Prickly Pear Salad Dressing
This bright pink vinaigrette is such a treat to drizzle over a leafy green salad! Like a usual vinaigrette, it includes vinegar, oil, mustard, and seasonings, but with the added benefit of luscious prickly pear fruit blended right into it for a creamier consistency.
6. Prickly Pear Cupcakes with Prickly Pear Frosting
These cupcakes infuse prickly pear into the cake portion as well as the frosting garnishing the tops. As a result, the cupcakes and frosting both have a pretty pink hue perfect to serve as part of an afternoon tea or a little girl's birthday.
7. Prickly Pear Mojito
This rum flavoured drink gets a new treatment with the addition of prickly pear. The bright tastes of mint and lime make this a lovely cocktail to serve to guests at a cocktail party.
8. Prickly Pear Gum Drops
If you love confections, but want to make something a little healthier for you and your family, these prickly pear gumdrops are the answer. They contain easy-to-name ingredients like apple sauce and pectin, as well as prickly pear to make a bright pink coloured gummy.
9. Prickly Pear Sorbet
This prickly pear sorbet makes for a refreshing dessert on a hot summer day or an elegant finish to a special dinner if served in clear crystal dishes. It is also a wonderful way to use up several prickly pears, helping you make the most out of this flavourful fruit.
10. Pink Prickly Pear Citrus Spritzer
This citrusy beverages includes sweet and tangy orange juice along with prickly pear juice, lime, a splash of vodka and more. If you keep some prickly pear juice on hand in the freezer, you will be able to make this colourful drink all year round, even when prickly pears aren't in season.
11. Prickly Pear Wild Blueberry Smoothie
Revamp your morning smoothies with this prickly pear wild blueberry smoothie! This blend is antioxidant-rich, flavourful, and fibrous with the additions of banana and flax seed.
12. Prickly Pear Jam
This top-notch prickly pear jam is great for using up large amounts of prickly pears and preserving them to enjoy in the cooler months. Whether you spread this jam on toast, add it to glazes for meat, or drizzle it over ice cream, you will love the flavour of this bright pink jam.
I live in South Africa and we get prickly pears here too - I've just never known what to do with them until now. When I see some again I will definitely try some of your recipes - thank you so much!
Jennifer @ Leelalicious
I'm so glad that this post gave you some ideas, Sam! Prickly Pears are such intriguing fruits. Happy cooking/baking whenever you can get your hands on some.