Prickly Pear (Cactus) Harvesting, Juicing, & Recipes

Guide E-217 - Cactus Concoctions: How to Prepare and Use Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit and Pads

Bernalillo County
Cooperative Extension Service

1510 Menaul Blvd NW Ext
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone: 505-243-1386
844-409-0562 (Toll Free)
Fax: 505-243-1545


From CACTUS CONCOCTIONS (Adjusted for high altitude) Patricia Aaron, Extension Home Economist, Bernalillo County


Singe spines of 20 prickly Pear cactus fruit. Using tongs, brush fruit with a vegetable brush. Wash in running water and place in a large pan whit enough water to cover. Boil 20 minutes or until tender. Crush fruit with a potato masher. Line a colander with 2 thickness of closely woven muslin. Strain liquid and mashed fruit to remove remaining spines and seeds.


1/2 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Sour Cream
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1-1/3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Prickly Pear Cactus Juice
1/4 Cup Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit - peeled, seeded, diced
1/4 Cup Maraschino Cherries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Blend in sour cream, egg, and vanilla. In a medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; blend into sour cream mixture. Stir in cactus juice, cactus fruit, and cherries. Drop from a teaspoon onto greased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 1-1/2 dozen cookies.