Tools needed: 3 large pots for boiling the fruit. One of ours was a spaghetti pot with a built in strainer. If you don't have one of these you will need a strainer instead.
One small sieve
1- 2 quart pitcher
1 package of cheese cloth
1 potato masher
We are doing this in a two step process, so today we just processed the juice. We will make the jelly next week. If you plan to do the same,you will need gallon jugs to store the juice in your refrigerator or freezer. The juice can be frozen and made into jelly at a much later date.
Wash pears in water and place in pot. It is not necessary to try to remove the spines as they will be strained out later. Fill with enough water to come up to edges of top fruit. Do not leave extra fruit sitting in wash water as the juice will start to leach out.
Strain pulp and juice through strainer. Let extra juice drip from pulp. It is okay to mash the fruit once again while it is dripping.
Filter juice minus pulp through cheesecloth covered sieve. This removes the spines that were present on the pears along with any remaining seeds. DO NOT squeeze the cheese cloth as this may force spines through into juice. We used the cheese cloth in 3 layers and cut off a section large enough to fit our sieve as it came out of the package.
I poured hot juice over ice and mixed it with ginger ale, a refreshing treat! Look at this lovely color!
Three and a half gallons of juice ready to be made into Prickly Pear Jelly next week. We started picking prickly pears at 9:45 a.m. We were done picking by 10:30. We were done processing juice and we had the kitchen cleaned up by 2:30. For each batch of jelly we will need 2 1/2 cups of juice which will yield about 5-8ounce jars. You do the math. We could be at this for a long time!