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Clear Jel is what cornstarch wants to be when it grows up. :)   I like using Clear Jel in my recipes and have had a few e-mails wondering what it is, so I thought I would answer publicly. Clear Jel is actually derived from cornstarch and is used commercially by bakeries and restaurants to thicken. It comes in a few varieties, regular and instant being the most commonly used.  Here are some advantages to its use:

  • It is clear when cooked.
  • It’s smooth, and doesn’t clump like regular cornstarch when used properly.
  • It remains stable when cooked so frozen foods don’t separate.  This allows you to successfully freeze cream sauces, puddings and custards.
  • It can be used in jams and jellies and is less expensive than pectin. Plus, it allows you to double and triple recipes. (Jam can be frozen or processed in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.)

More information is available on the different varieties of Clear Jel here.

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5 Comments to “What is Clear Jel?”

  1. Cindy Brown says:

    Just curious…do you think adding Clear Jell would help “thicken” homemade salsa when canning?

  2. Kim says:

    Hmm…I think it may be a little weird in salsa. I have never tried it though, so I would say try it in a small amount. Mix the Clear Jel with some sugar and then stir into your salsa. Be sure to use a Clear Jel that works in cold or hot liquids. Let me know how it goes!

  3. Ed says:

    It is not recommended that you thicken salsa before canning with any type of thickener. Thickening will increase the density of the salsa so heat cannot penetrate the center of the jar to kill potential pathogens. you can safely thicken canned salsa after you open the jar.

  4. 2lc2cu says:

    I use clear jel in salsa all the time. I disolve it in 4 cups of the liquid from the cooking salsa, then add it back in. It helps thicken the salsa and takes less time to boil it down to a thick salsa. Plus it doesn’t alter the taste of your salsa.

  5. Lisa says:

    If I were using clear jel instead of pectin would I use the amount I would have use of pectin? Do I need to dissolve it in cold liquids before adding to hot foods? Thank you, Lisa

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