Prickly Pear Wine

Recipe file created June 7, 2004.
The Prickly Pear is the fruit of the cacti in the Opuntia genus and grows wild in many parts of the USA. More information is available at www.desertusa.com.

Ingredients

The best wines are made from scratch.
  • 12 cups prepared prickly pears
  • 1 1/4 cups raisins
  • 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 campden tablets
  • 3/4 teaspoon yeast energizer
  • 1 teaspoon pectic enzyme
  • 2 lemons (juice only)
  • 1 package wine yeast
  • 4 cups water
  • Remove spines from fruit. Chop and crush. Place them in the primary fermentor.

    Add all other ingredients except yeast. Check the specific gravity. It should be between 1.100 and 1.110. Let sit overnight.

    Add yeast and mix in well. Cover primary fermentor. Stir daily for four to five days, until frothing ceases.

    Strain fruit, squeezing out as much juice as possible. Put into secondary fermentor and attach airlock. Finish as for dry wine or sweet wine below.

    Finishing

    For a dry wine, Rack in three weeks and return to secondary fermentor. Rack again in three months, and every three months until 1 year old. Bottle.

    For a sweet wine, rack at three weeks. Add 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup wine. Stir gently, and place back into secondary fermentor. Repeat process every six weeks until fermentation does not restart with the addition of sugar. Rack every three months until one year old. Bottle.

    This wine is best if you can refrain from drinking it for a year and a half from the date it was started.

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