Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

Prickly Pears are the flower part of a cactus that was first discovered in the United States in the lower Rocky Mountains and the southern Great Plains areas. So, how did we end up with one to eat in Texas?

We participate in a bi-weekly produce co-op in our community. It’s a great way to get fruits and vegetables at a low price with very little packaging. But, since it’s a co-op, we don’t have a choice in what produce we get. 

Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

One of our baskets came with these small, round, pink things. We had no clue what they were. When we were leaving, I asked the wonderful ladies working the pickup site and they said it’s a prickly pear and that was all they could tell me about it. 

Since it was the only new thing to us, I started to research it online while Justin drove home. That’s when we found out it’s part of a cactus and is very sweet inside. You just have to be careful to fully peel it so none of the spines are left in your food. 

Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

Actually, the fruit itself is not called prickly pear, but that’s the name of the entire plant. The fruit is called cactus fruit or cactus fig among other names. Cactus fruit is made up of about 88% water, so it is perfect for making a juice to sweeten any dessert.

We weren’t exactly sure what to do with the cactus fruit, so we started searching online for recipe ideas. Justin came across this recipe for lemon bars topped with prickly pear juice and they looked delicious. 


Step by Step

Cut and prepare your prickly pear juice. There’s a great tutorial HERE but I will also summarize. Slice both ends of the pear off. Make a long slit vertically on one side of the fruit. Grab one side and peel the skin off of the fruit inside. Place the inside into a blender and pulse until it is liquefied. Then use a fine mesh strainer to get the juice from the pulp and seeds. For this recipe, one decent-sized pear should make enough juice.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the crust ingredients and mix until they are crumbly. 

Grease an 8×8 baking dish and press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 15 minutes. 

Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to combine all of the filling ingredients. Pour the filling over the warm crust then bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is set. 

Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting. Sprinkle with crushed pecans and serve.

Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice
Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice
Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

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Recipe

Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 9 servings

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup pecans chopped
  • 4 tbsp butter softened

Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp prickly pear juice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Topping

  • 2 tbsp pecans chopped

Instructions

  • Prepare the prickly pear juice: Slice both ends of the pear off. Make a long slit vertically on one side of the fruit. Grab one side and peel the skin off of the fruit inside. Place the inside into a blender and pulse until it is liquefied. Then use a fine mesh strainer to get the juice from the pulp and seeds. For this recipe, one decent-sized pear should make enough juice.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the crust ingredients until crumbly
  • Press into a greased 8×8 baking dish
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to combine all of the filling ingredients. 
  • Pour the filling over the warm crust then bake for 20 minutes or until the filling is set
  • Let the bars cool completely before cutting
  • Sprinkle with crushed pecans before serving
Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

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14 thoughts on “Lemon Bars with Prickly Pear Juice

  1. I absolutely love lemon bars! So light and refreshing! I will substitute the egg whites with flax egg and will make these, on saturday! Perfect weekend treat!

  2. This is one of the reasons why I love CSA’s so much- what a fun way to explore something you didn’t even know existed! Though I’ve never had prickly pear before, I bet these lemon bars are absolutely divine. Hoping I can make these with some store bought prickly pear juice!

  3. I love trying new things! I miss that about my CSA. Since moving, I haven’t found a new one. These lemon bars look delicious! I’ve been on a baking frenzy lately. I’ll have to add these to my list of recipes to try!

  4. I love everything with lemons and these look so delicious. They would perfect with a cup of tea in this beautiful fall night. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. Yesterday was the first time I’d heard of this “fruit” it sounds so interesting and I definitely want to try it. I love lemon bars, it’s one of my favorite things to make!

  6. I admit that even though I live in New Mexico, I’ve never actually tried a prickly pear but I hear amazing things about it! I wouldn’t even know how to begin with a recipe including one but this actually sounds like something I can try! I will have to let you know how it turns out! <3

  7. Mmmmm I love lemon bars. This makes me sad because my father found some wild prickly pears and we didn’t know what to do with them, so we threw them out. 🙁
    Next time, I’ll be sure to make these! They look so good.

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