I have been looking for prickly pears everywhere lately and was just about to order some online when I finally found them in the store. I kind of had one of those nights where, for the most part, I knew what I needed, but I was also wandering around for some sort of inspiration. When I saw these, I immediately snatched up a couple and headed home. I’ve since bought them a few more times – most recently when my brother was here so we could make cocktails. They are just so delicious and make for the prettiest prickly pear margaritas.
Prickly pears have tiny, thin needles and they hurt big time if you’re not handling with care. I had them all in my right hand the last time I picked them up at the grocery store, and it was just by touching them and putting them in the plastic bag to take home. You most definitely need to use gloves while handling/prepping them – here’s a great guide to use.
The juice that’s produced from the pears is such a vibrant and gorgeous color – and they’re sweet, without being overly so. You’ll probably be seeing more of these guys around here since my store is carrying them for now. When I was younger and we lived in Tucson, my mom made a prickly pear jam (that I look back on fondly, while she remembers that it wasn’t very good), so I’m going to be trying my hand at that.
- 5-6 prickly pears (you need about 3/4-1 cup of juice)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 oz tequila
- 1 1/2 oz lime juice
- Salt, for garnish
- Splash of Grand Marnier
- Limes, for garnish
- For the simple syrup, peel the prickly pears using gloves. Remove the rind and chop the flesh. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve to separate the juice from the seeds and pulp. In a medium saucepan, heat the prickly pear juice, water, and sugar until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the syrup has thickened. Remove from heat. Cool and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- For the margaritas, place the tequila, lime juice, and 2 oz of prickly pear syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass rimmed with salt (if desired) and filled with crushed ice. Top with a splash of Grand Marnier and fresh lime wedges.