Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – When you can’t find ClearJel for canning

It’s fresh fruit season which means lots of canning for pies and treats. Today’s tip I’m sharing with you what you can use when you can’t find ClearJel.

So if you’re like me you’ve found it near impossible finding the product ClearJel in the grocery store when you’ve decided you want to can fresh pie filling. Sure the stores carry SureJel but no ClearJel. You re-check your recipe and sure enough it calls out specifically ClearJel. Do you reach for the SureJel in its place?

The answer is no. SureJel and ClearJel are two different things that produce different end results. SureJel is a pectin that, when cooked with sugar will thicken the mixture for say preserves or jelly. ClearJel is a starch that, when cooked, becomes a thickener. The beauty of ClearJel is that it’s, well, clear – meaning the ‘sauce’ of the pie filling is clear or rather the color of the fruits it contains. Got it?

So then what are you to do?  Reach for flour? Corn starch?  Oh god no. Oh sure they will work…but it will be SUPER cloudy and the fruit filling will look murky. Yeah no, don’t do it.

When you’re in the grocery store and you can’t find ClearJel, reach for Tapioca Starch. It’s a thickener like ClearJel that will thicken the mixture and be clearer than the other items. That and arrowroot work. But it’s not a 1:1 substitute. ClearJel is powerful therefore you don’t need a lot of it. Since Tapioca Starch is a modified starch it’s a bit thinner therefore you need twice as much. So it’s a 2:1 ratio where 2 is Tapioca Starch.

So it’s like this:

1 cup of ClearJel = 2 cups of Tapioca Starch

But I’ll be honest I prefer using ClearJel in my pie fillings that I can. I order mine off of Amazon. I really, really like this one  from Hoosier Hill Farm.

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