Monday, September 12, 2011

Clear Jel


What is Clear Jel?
Clear Jel is a corn starch derivative, a commercial thickening product used by bakeries and for frozen food. This product is used the same as flour or corn starch. There are two types of Clear Jel available, "instant" and "regular".

"Instant" clear jel does not require heat to thicken. The product will thicken once the liquid is added. "Regular" clear jel, on the other hand, must be heated. This is generally the preferred type to use in products to be canned. To use Clear Jel in a hot dish such as gravy, first mix a small amount in cold water, then add gradually to the hot liquid, mixing constantly. Or, mix everything together while cold, and then heat and stir to thicken.

Instant clear jel is the most widely used and stored. However, if you wish to use clear jel to replace pectin in your canning recipes that are cooked, you should use the regular clear jel. It should be noted here that canning recipes that use regular cornstarch are not considered safe. This is a great alternative.

Advantages to using Clear Jel:
• It is clear in color when cooked.
• It has excellent stability.
• It remains smooth.
• It prevents liquid separation and curdling after foods have been frozen.
• Cream sauces, custard, and puddings may be frozen with excellent results
• It is less expensive than pectin.
• The amount of sugar may be adjusted without losing the jelling capacity.
• Recipes may be doubled, tripled or halved.
• The jam may be frozen or processed in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
• It stores relatively well if stored properly.

Hints for using Clear Jel:
• Any fruit jam or jelly recipe may be used as long as the product is processed for 10 minutes or frozen. Substitute 7 tbsp of Clear Jel for the pectin in cooked jams and jellies and 3-4 tbsp of Clear Jel for the pectin in freezer jam recipes. • For freezer jam follow the jam recipes on this sheet.
• Clear Jel does not dissolve easily in liquid. To help dissolve the product, mix the Clear Jel with a little sugar before adding to the fruit or juice. Here are some recipes using Clear Jel. Also included are a recipe for homemade Karo Syrup and a recipe for Homemade Cool Whip.

Homemade Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
Substitute with this for any recipe calling for a 3.5 oz box of instant pudding.
For chocolate, add extra sugar with the cocoa: use 1/2 cup cocoa and 3/4 cup sugar. Add an extra 1/4 cup of milk or so because of the extra dry ingredients.
1/3 cup instant dry milk*
2 cups cold milk*
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup Instant Clear Jel
1/4 tsp salt, optional
Combine dry ingredients.
Add 2 cups cold milk and 1-2 t. vanilla; mix well.
*Note: A secret of using instant clear jel is to mix it with the dry ingredients first before adding liquid; it’s less likely to clump. You can just shake it, or use a mixer, blender, stick blender.

Cherry Jam
4 cups pitted chopped cherries
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons Clear Jel
Sugar to taste (approximately 1 cup)
Add lemon juice to cherries. Combine Clear Jel with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add to cherries. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Pour into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath or freeze.

Apricot and Pineapple Jam
5 cups ground apricots
1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 tablespoons Clear Jel
Sugar to taste (approximately 3 cups)
Add lemon juice to apricots. Combine Clear Jel with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add to apricots. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add rest of sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath or freeze.

Apricot Jam
3 1/2 cups apricots
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 1/2 tablespoons Clear Jel
Sugar to taste (approximately 2 cups)
Add lemon juice to apricots. Combine Clear Jel with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add to apricots. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add rest of sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath or freeze.

Peach Jam
3 3/4 cups peaches
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 tablespoons Clear Jel
Sugar to taste (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
Add lemon juice to peaches. Combine Clear Jel with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add to peaches. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add rest of sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath or freeze.

Berry Jam
4 cups crushed berries or juiced
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 tablespoons Clear Jel
Sugar to taste (approximately 1 1/2 cup)
Add lemon juice to berries. Combine Clear Jel with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add to berries. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add rest of sugar. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath or freeze

Canned Blackberry Pie Filling
6 quarts fresh blackberries
7c sugar*
1 3/4 c. Clear jel
1 t cinnamon*
9 1/3 c water or juice
1/2 c. lemon juice
Combine Clear jel, sugar, cinnamon in large pan. Add water and juice and mix until smooth. Heat till mixture bubbles stirring constantly. Add berries and fold in. Remove from heat. Fill 7 quart jars leaving 1" headspace. Process in boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

Karo Corn Syrup Substitute
A corn syrup substitute without the high fructose!
Servings: Makes almost 2 cups
2 c. white sugar
3/4 c. water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
Dash of salt
Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often. Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months. Y: 2 cups

Homemade cool whip
1 t. gelatin
2 t. cold water
3 T. boiling water
½ c. ice water
½ c. nonfat dry milk
3 T. sugar
3 T. oil
Chill a small mixing bowl. Soften gelatin with 2 teaspoons cold water, then add boiling water, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool until tepid. Place ice water and nonfat dry milk in the chilled bowl. Beat at high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Add sugar, still beating, then oil and gelatin. Place in freezer about 15 minutes; transfer to refrigerator until ready for use. Stir before using to retain creamy texture. Y: 2 cups.

3 comments:

Julene said...

I just found your blog and it is so informative! Great job! I just ahd a question about the homemade version of the karo syrup. Is there no clear gel in the recipe? I was just wondering because it is a clear gel post and I don't want to make it wrong. Thanks!

Pam said...

Julene,
Sorry I am so slow replying. There is no clear jel in this recipe. Sorry for the confusion.

Julene said...

If you're slow, I am even slower :) I just read this today. I am excited to try the karo syrup because I am trying to eliminate HFCS from my family's diet. Thanks again for such a great blog!!