Prickly Pear Jelly

26 Apr

OK, Trivia Tuesday, so I have to ask!  DID YOU KNOW, that jams, jellies and marmalade arrived in Europe, right around the middle ages?  No?  Don’t feel bad, I didn’t either.  Check this out… then let’s get on to the recipe!

There is some controversy as to where it actually originated, but it is thought to be from the Middle Eastern Countries. Being introduced to Europe upon the Crusaders return from there. 

The first book of recipes, Of Culinary Matters, was written by a Roman Gastronome by the name of Marcus Gavius Apicius. This book of recipes includes recipes for fruit preserves!

Marmalade is thought to have been created in 1561 by the attending doctor to Mary, Queen of Scots.  He mixed orange and crushed sugar to keep her seasickness at bay.  It is plausible, that the word marmalade derives from the words “Marie est malade” meaning Mary is sick. 

Now being the good Scotswoman / Irishwoman that I am (just to name a couple), and being a direct descendant of Mary, Queen of Scots, I would like to believe we have this delectable treat because of one of my ancestors. 😛

But it is much more likely that the word marmalade comes from the word marmelo.  Being of Portuguese decent, meaning quince (fruit).

NOW, you know… 😀

Prickly Pear Jelly

  • 6 1/2 cups Prickly Pear Juice
  • 2 pkgs. Sure Jell
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
  • 9 cups Sugar

DO NOT peel prickly pears, wear gloves and rub the spines off of each “prickly pear” with a gunny sack.  It isn’t necessary to remove all the spines as they will dissolve while cooking them.  Wash and put fruit in kettle with a small amount of water.  Bring to a boil and mash with a potato masher.  Drain through cloth and measure juice into a large kettle.  Bring juice to a boil and add Sure Jell.  Boil hard (a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down) for 1 minute.  Add lemon juice and sugar.  Bring to hard boil again for 1 full minute.  Jelly will be a beautiful claret red and firm.  Hot pack per canning directions.

 This is the next best thing to sliced bread! 

Hmm sliced bread… I wonder why that’s such a historical event?  I believe more research is necessary!  Until next Trivia Tuesday… enjoy the jelly 😛


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One response to “Prickly Pear Jelly

  1. angiel0510

    April 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! I loooove prickly pear jelly!


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