Have I mentioned I love tequila? I know some of you must be fighting back your gag reflex just thinking about tequila, but not me. Tequila and I go way back, but that’s another story, preferably one told while drinking tequila. After you try this prickly pear margarital you might reconsider your aversion to tequila, at least I hope you do.
Prickly pear fruit is native to Mexico and South America, but it can be found in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, and parts of the Middle East. It is known for its thick spiny skin and soft, sweet, & watery interior. There are many varieties, but the most well known are green, red, yellow, brown and pink. It’s the perfect summer fruit, it tastes like a weird combination of pear, cucumber, watermelon and pineapple. It has only one monstrous defect, besides the tiny spines that line its exterior, the flesh of the fruit is riddled with seeds. It is commonly used to make drinks, candy, or jelly.
You can find them at your local Mexican or Hispanic market. I found them at my favorite grocery store, Crown Valley Market Place in Mission Viejo or you can find them at El Nopal Market in San Juan Capistrano. They are in season from early spring to late fall. To prepare them, use a paring knife to cut off both ends of the fruit and make a 1/4 of an inch deep cut lengthwise. Please, please, please wear gloves when working with this fruit. Even though you can find them without the large spines at the store, the tiny and almost hair like spines remain and can get lodged in your flesh. They truly are tiny! Place your finger in between the flesh and the outer skin and simply pull back, the outer layer should come off easily. You can store them in your refrigerator for up to a week or at room temperature if you are going to eat them in one or two days.
One of the wonderful benefits of living in SoCal is that a wide variety of tequila is available at the grocery store, liquor store, and neighborhood bar. We usually drink Corralejo, Don Juilo, or Clase Azul, but this time we used Cazadores which is a great option for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money. As for margaritas, I’m happy to see more bars have stopped using sour mix and creating their own flavored syrups and liquors. Did you know, margaritas in Mexico are made with lime juice, tequila, and triple sec or Cointreau? That’s it! I wish I had better pictures to show you; the color of this fruit is amazing, almost neon. This is officially the most tested recipe on this blog:)
The Recipe: Prickly Pear Margarita
I usually like my margaritas on the rocks in a salt rimmed glass, but the sweetness of the prickly pear called for this to be a frozen version. The prickly pear is full of seeds, make sure strain the pureed mixture. Enjoy!
Prickly Pear Margarita
4Red prickly pears,peeled
¼cup + 1 tbsp.Lime juice,fresh
Ice As Needed
Blend prickly pears on low for 60 seconds. Then blend on high for 30 seconds. Strain. Set liquid aside.
Pour tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and prickly pear juice in blender. Add ice and blend on high.