Prickly Pear Margaritas

Amy harvests prickly pear tunas in Hondo, Texas

Last week, we harvested several beautiful ripe prickly pear tunas (the fruit of the prickly pear cactus) on my parent’s land in Hondo. In the top picture I am using tongs since the tunas have many tiny little spines or glochids – the glochids hurt worse than the large spines so be sure to pick the tunas with tongs, pliers or some extra-thick gloves. Once harvested, we stored them in a plastic bag in the fridge until we were ready to make margaritas.

How to make Prickly Pear Margaritas

1. You will need at least 10 tunas to make about 2 cups of margaritas. Wash the tunas and cut the ends off. Cut the tunas in half and cut most of the skin off, especially the part with the glochids. If you don’t get all the skin, don’t worry because the skin is edible and the tunas will be blended up anyway. When cutting, use tongs or a skewer to hold the tunas in place or wear thick gloves to hold.

2. Add 2 cups of tunas and 1/2 c water to blender and puree. Strain out seeds and pulp using cheesecloth. You should end up with about 1 c prickly pear juice.

3. Prepare a simple sugar syrup by adding 1/2 c water, 1/2 c sugar and 3 strips of lime zest to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes.) Let syrup cool.

4. Combine syrup, 1/4 c fresh lime juice, prickly pear juice and 3/4 c tequila. Pour over ice and enjoy!


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