Prickley Pear Cactus Fruit

The prickly pear cactus behind our house has plenty of fruit this year. I do like the fruit’s taste, but the pain of dealing with the little thorns in my fingers has kept me from harvesting them in the past. With all these yummy looking fruit out there I decided to try again.

For the harvest I wear gloves and use tongs to handle the fruit. I then try to remove as many of the little thorns as possible before I peel the fruit. The best method for thorn removal I have found so far can be seen in this video:

I swirl the fruit around in a strainer under running water for a while. Here are before and after pictures:

After the thorns are removed I peel the fruit. Even at this stage I still use latex gloves for the handling for protection from thorns. I prefer the fruit fresh, so I eat it as is or dice it up and add it to my kefir.