Thursday, July 22, 2010

Prickly Pear Agua Fresca

Ok, so its time for a new section here at the Hungry Texan. I've added a new DRINKS area for all of my beverage creations. I've realized over the last few weeks that I have a number of drink recipes piling up to share with you, so in the spirit of keeping order around here, they will be filed under DRINKS instead of COOKS. Makes sense right? It must be the scorching July heat, because all I want is fruit and cold drinks right now...

Anyways, on to the agua fresca! I've been all about prickly pears as of late, and I had about a dozen to use up before vacation next week, so this Prickly Pear Agua Fresca was born. Its lightly sweet, and so refreshing. Perfect for an afternoon pick me up, hey and good for you too!

If you've never had prickly pears, or tunas in spanish, they are a real treat. The prickly pear is the fruit of the nopal, or cactus plant. You can forage for them if you have cactus nearby, just be sure to wear leather gloves and use tongs.

The red tunas give this agua fresca its amazing color. The taste is somewhat like bubble gum, its hard to pin down so you'll just have to try it for yourself.

Prickly Pear Agua Fresca
(printable recipe)

12 prickly pears, 6 green & 6 red

Using tongs hold each pear over a low flame to burn off any needles before handling. Then slice off each end of the fruit, and cut a slit down one side. Peel the skin back away from the fruit and discard. Cut the fruit in a few chunks and toss into the food processor. Process on high for a minute or so, until liquefied. You may also use a blender although all the seeds may prove to be to much for your blender to handle (it was for mine).
Pour the juice through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds. It should yield 2-3 cups of juice. I only used 2 cups, I had other plans for the rest of this juice.
Heat 1 cup of water and 4 tablespoons of sugar on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, combine with 2 cups of prickly pear juice. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed. Chill and serve over ice.

For more details on how to cut and prep prickly pears, head over to Simply Recipes. They have a great little how-to.

Check back tomorrow to see what I did with the rest of the prickly pear juice. Hint, it involves tequila. Heck. Yes.


  1. Never knew til now that those deer ate so good. Tasty.

  2. I'm so jealous! We tried picking some prickly pears from a cactus near our house and after getting pricked and poked discovered they weren't ripe enough.