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Mexican cactus fruit jam: Mermelada de xoconostle by Karen Hursh Graber © 2014

These Mexican cactus fruits are always available in larger mercados in Central Mexico, because they are used in mole de olla. If you don't see them, ask. They make a delicious jam. Do yourself a big favor and buy them with the spines already removed. I see women in the market holding xoconostle with their bare hands and scraping off the spines, but if you have to buy them with spines, use gardening gloves as you scrape them.


  • 2 pounds xoconostles
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water

Cut off both ends of the fruit. Cut it lengthwise down the middle and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Remove the skin.

Place the xoconostle, sugar and water in a large pot, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has the consistency of jam.

Ladle into a hot, sterilized one pint jar and cover with a sterile lid and band. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before opening. Alternatively, omit the hot water bath processing and refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 6 months.

Makes about 1 pint.


Link to source article
Preserving Mexico's summer fruit: Sweet and spicy jams and jellies


Published or Updated on: September 11, 2014 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2014
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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