What You Need for Preparing Prickly Pear Fruit

Below is a list of the kitchen utensils and ingredients that you need for preparing prickly pear sauce—to be used in prickly pear margaritas and prickly pear BBQ.

When I learned how to prepare prickly pear fruit at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, I took careful notes of what the pros were using. As Chef Janet Hoogasian demonstrated how to prepare prickly pear cactus sauce, I recorded the tools she used. That way, I’d be ready to prepare prickly pear on my own. Preparing prickly pear is easy when you have the following proper utensils and ingredients.

Why do you need these utensils while preparing prickly pear?

close up of two prickly pear fruit still on cactus showing very small spines
What You Need for Preparing Prickly Pear Fruit | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

Why do you need special kitchen tools for preparing prickly pear? If you look at the photo above, you’ll see that prickly pear fruit is full of small spines. Some of them are nearly microscopic. You may not see those tiny spines, but they’ll make their presence known once they get embedded into your skin. That’s why you need the leather gloves are necessary when preparing prickly pear.

Unfortunately the spines do not melt off or go away during the cooking process. So in comes the sieve and cheesecloth.

A sharp knife helps skin the fruit while preparing prickly pear fruit

Detailed knife work goes into the skinning process of the magenta-colored prickly pear fruit.  Consequently, a sharp knife is necessary. The chef wore plastic kitchen gloves under her leather gloves in Tanque Verde Ranch’s commercial kitchen.

For How to Harvest and Prepare Prickly Pear Fruit, read the previous post, we’ll stick to the utensils needed for preparing prickly pear fruit in this article.

The watched pot never boils

large commercial pot holds boiling prickly pear juice on stove top
Preparing prickly pear fruit at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona

When you cook prickly pear cactus, it’s essential to have the proper strainer ladle to skim off the cactus spines that float to the surface of the cooking juice.

Tip from the chef: Use agave rather than sugar when cooking prickly pear cactus. Agave is included on the checklist for preparing prickly pear fruit above.

For how to make prickly pear juice, click here.

As is common in the travel industry, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was provided with accommodations, meals, and other compensation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

Further, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading.

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