Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On hot knifing prickly pears.

I love prickly pears, they seem such unlikely food....

I gathered some yesterday with a couple of plastic bags and a fair amount of care....
Today I singed off the prickles by sticking a knife into them where they were attached to the cactus and holding them over the gas stove.

Notes.....

Remove all the pears from the plastic bag before you begin as the hot knife will melt the plastic onto it as you get the next.

Don't try and hold the pears through the bag, you cannot see the spines and therefore get stuck.

There must be another way, thought the only one I know if is to burn the spines off once you get home. I think it would work better if I had a hard container like a yogurt tub (if they only made yogurt in such large quantities here) so that they are more contained, and easier to handle. A spike might also be easier than the knife. I would also look less like a naughty teenager at the end of it all...."NO Mom, really, we weren't doing anything with the knives...we were cleaning prickly pears! REALLY. "

Hmmmmm.

6 comments:

elPadawan said...

Never tried those before. Enjoy :D

Anonymous said...

Did you skin them afterwards?
I've only eaten them as dessert fruit with a knife and fork.
The hostess had cut off a side so it sat on the plate quite harmlessly, spines and all.
DELICIOUS IF THEY'VE RIPENED OUTDOOR ON THE CACTUS TO THEIR FULL FLAVOR.
Still can't believe that out in the desert camels eat them without any problems.
Supposedly they have huge square teeth that squash the spines? What do you think? GM

Carla said...

Yum! I've had them as a chutney, also in jam. How cool that you can gather them and put them to good use in your kitchen.

oreneta said...

LP: Never? They're really yummy...one of these days you'll have to give it a go.

GM, I have never pondered camel cactus eating techniques, but I cannot imagine it would be comfortable...there are some mighty fine spines, it may be a question of being hungry enough...

Carla, I was looking at all the figs going by and thinking canning thoughts and jam making thoughts, but I then read up on HOW to make jam and I am just so intimidated by the canning/botulism thing...gak. We'll eat them fresh while they're here I guess.

dawn said...

We got some for the first time this year to try. They weren't a big hit. I think I will have to make jam of the rest. I need to find a recipe for that. Actually, I have a Mediterranean cook book that contains a couple recipes that use prickly pears. Must go see.

oreneta said...

Dawn, they also use them a lot in the American S.W. you may get a recipe there...they came from the Americas originally anyway...there are a lot of seeds, if you can get around that they are quite good.