Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly recipe:2 1/2 cups prickly pear juice1 box pectin (Sure-jell or Certo)1-3 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice3 1/2 cups sugar
A 6 to 8-quart pot to boil the jelly in.
A small pot to sterilize the lids.
Wash jars, bands and lids. I like to wash my jars and bands in the dishwasher, then keep them there to stay warm until I fill them. I wash the lids and keep them in the dish drainer until it's time to place them in the small pot. This pot I fill about half full. Bring to a boil, then shut off and place lids in scalding water. Do Not boil lids. I have also found you do not want to just leave the lids sitting in this water or they will start to rust, so I only place as many as I think I am going to use in the water while the jelly is boiling.
Add sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of butter (if desired to prevent excessive foaming). Stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a hard boil and boil for three minutes. (Do not stir constantly at this point.)
Remove from heat and skim off foam. Pour into sterilized jars filling to 1/8 inch from top. Wipe jar rims and threads. Seal with lids and bands. When you have enough jars, place in boiling water bath and process for 5 minutes at a gentle boil. Adjust for altitude according to directions included in pectin box.
The jars go onto a rack and are lowered into the pot. Make sure the water is 1 to 2 inches above the tops of the jars. Add boiling water as necessary to maintain this level. When timing is up, lift jars from water-bath with rack.
Here are some tips we learned from making jelly this year:
Photographer's note: All of today's photography is copyrighted by Kathiesbirds. I used the Nikon D80 with the 18 to 70 mm lens. Click on any photo to enlarge for better viewing.