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Shamrock1121
09-16-2008, 05:05 PM
We touched on the thickening agent Clear Jel in another thread about canning, but perhaps it needs a spotlight of it's own.

Clear Jel (and Instant Clear Jel) are products I keep in my long-term storage items, as well as using regularly. I consider it as much a part of my emergency foods as I do powdered butter, powdered peanut butter, Morning Moo's whey-based milk substitute and the other assorted foods found in #10 cans in storage. It has a long shelf life and a lot of uses.

Clear Jel thickens better than other thickeners like pectin and Sure-jel. Clear Jel will thicken whether heated or not. It doesn't get cloudy or separate, nor does it affect or influence the flavor like other thickeners can.

One little hint, mix your sugar and clear jel together before adding to mixtures.

Using Clear Jel:
http://www.lesleycooks.com/canning/clearjel2003.pdf

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/uga/purchasing_using_clearjel.pdf

Canned Pie Fillings: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_02/canpie.html

There are a lot of recipes using Clear Jel that will aid in making your own "convenience foods" at home.

"Instant" Vanilla Pudding

1-1/2 c. milk
3 T. Clear Jel
1/2 c. sugar (or other sweetener)
1 t. vanilla
Add sugar and clear jel mixture to milk and vanilla. Mix in blender.

Clear Jel is a must for Freezer Jams, Low-Sugar Jams, and is the thickener of choice for pies and home-canned pie filling.

Grape Jam (freezer)
2 c. grape juice
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. Clear Jel
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 package grape Kool-Aid (dried powder)
Add ingredients in order, mix well. Pour into containers and freeze.

If you are using your stored foods, Clear Jel works great for making a homemade soup base (creamed style).

Soup
5 oz. evaporated milk
5 oz. water
2 T. clear Jel
1 t. chicken instant bouillon (OR 1 t. beef bouillon)
Blend in blender until smooth and thick.

Vanilla Pudding (using powdered milk)
1/3 c. instant non-fat dry milk powder
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. Clear Jel (Instant variety)
1/4 t. salt

Combine dry ingredients. Add 2 cups cold milk and 1/4 t. vanilla. Mix in blender, or mixer. Thin it if needed. May vary the flavor with lemon, coconut, etc. Add more sugar if you add cocoa for chocolate pudding.

Cream Soup
1/3 c. Clear Jel (Instant)
1/3 c. dry powdered milk
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
6 mushrooms or beef or chicken base

Put all ingredients into blender.

Blend and add 2-1/2 c. milk and blend again, add mushrooms or base to taste, blend 10 seconds. Use in casseroles like you would cream of mushroom soup.

From: Simply Stored Meals - OR - Eat Healthy Eat Simply - by Eleanor C. Jensen.

Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix:
Mix 1 c. dry chocolate milk drink mix and 5 T. Clear Jel. Using wire whip, blend in 2 c. water and pudding is done.

Instant Vanilla Pudding:
Mix 3/4 c. sugar
2 T. dried whole egg powder (sift)
4 T. Clear Jel
dash of salt
With wire whisk, stir this into 2 c. milk and 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 t. lemon extract. A drop of yellow food coloring if desired.
Variation: Add 1/4 t. coconut flavoring or other flavorings to change pudding.

Strawberry Topping: In pan, mix: 1/3 c. strawberry Jell-o powder, 1/3 c. sugar, 4 T. Clear Jel. With wire whisk, mix in 2 c. hot water. Cook until clear and thickened. Cool and add berries. Chill and serve over cake.

-Karen

RNMOM
09-17-2008, 01:25 PM
Karen, I have some clear jel but haven't used it much. I tried it in some jam, but didn't love it too much.

I would like to make some glaze, like peach glaze and can it. Would clear jel work for that? Where would I be able to find a recipe for that?

Thanks,
Tauna

Shamrock1121
09-18-2008, 12:45 AM
Karen, I have some clear jel but haven't used it much. I tried it in some jam, but didn't love it too much.

I would like to make some glaze, like peach glaze and can it. Would clear jel work for that? Where would I be able to find a recipe for that?

Thanks,
Tauna

"Glaze" the peaches AFTER they are opened by thickening the peach juice. I don't think there is a glazing method that is safe to can, other than something like peach pie filling.

I make a fresh peach pie that has an "interesting" sort of glaze. We like it so much that I quit making the "pie" and I just make the peaches.... ;) We top the peach filling with toasted pecans. You can also use frozen peaches in this recipe.

Fresh Peach Pie
(source: The Stafford County Flour Mills Co. Cookbook)

Crust:
1/2 c. margarine (I use butter)
1 c. Hudson Cream Short Patent All-Purpose Flour, Unbleached
2 T. sugar
Chopped nuts

Filling:
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
3 T. peach gelatin (the dried powder - Peach Jell-O)
2 peeled, sliced fresh peaches
Additional peaches

Preheat oven to 350F. While it is warming, melt 1/2 c. of margarine in 9-inch pie pan in the oven. Then add flour, and 2 T. sugar. Stir and pat in bottom of pie pan. Sprinkle some chopped nuts, as much as you desire, over the top of crust, press in. Bake until light brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool.

Cook water, sugar, and cornstarch until thickened. Add peach gelatin. Add 2 sliced peaches to this hot mixture. Cool until luke warm. Slice more peaches in bottom of cooled crust. Pour glaze over the contents of the pie and refrigerate.

Karen Note: I usually make half the filling recipe and add as many peaches (sliced) as it will hold (4-5 peaches total). I use 1/2 c. water, substitute 1/4 c. agave nectar for the sugar, 1-1/2 T. cornstarch and 1-1/2 T. peach gelatin.

-Karen