Summer and fall are harvest seasons, with tons of fruit and veggies to pluck off the vine or pick from the tree. While there are plenty of great meals you can whip up with your homegrown produce, you can also turn it into canned goods to use at a later date.
One tasty canned good you can make with fruit specifically is homemade canned pie filling. There's a bit of an art to this, and if you're not careful you can wind up with a canned filling that's runnier than you really want. To get your pie filling to the perfect thickness, however, you can use a heat- and acid-resistant thickener such as Clear Jel starch.
Here's why Clear Jel makes such a great thickener for canning your homemade pie filling, and how to add it to your next baked treat. Plus, here are a couple of other tips for getting a gorgeous, thick, home-canned pie filling.
Read more: 25 Baking Tips Every Home Cook Should Know
Why Clear Jel Is The Perfect Pie Filling Thickener
There are a couple of reasons why Clear Jel is a great choice for thickening your fruit pies. Clear Jel is a type of modified cornstarch that can withstand a wide range of temperatures, whether those are hot or cold. The result is that you get a thick canned pie filling that doesn't change consistency easily. That's true regardless of whether you're heating your fruit pie filling up to bake it or you're cooling it down to store it in the fridge after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner.
Clear Jel freezes well, and it also makes your pie filling less likely to separate or curdle after you freeze it. So, if you've stored your pie away for a few months, when you take it out of the freezer and thaw it, you don't have to worry about your pie being watery or going off.
Besides being temperature resistant, Clear Jel is also clear in color when it's cooked. This means that it won't make your pie filling look washed out. The result is that you get a bright, tasty-looking pie once it comes out of the oven.
How To Use Clear Jel To Make The Perfect Canned Fruit Pie Filling
Now that you know why Clear Jel is such an asset to your canning and pie-baking operation, it's time to talk about how to actually use it. Before you dive into adding Clear Jel to your pie filling, you've got to know that there are actually two different types of this thickener available: instant Clear Jel and regular Clear Jel.
The difference lies in the way you use them. To use regular Clear Jel, you'll have to heat it up to activate its thickening properties. For instant Clear Jel, however, all you have to do is add it to your fruit pie filling, and you're good to go. There's no other preparation required. Generally, regular Clear Jel is the better choice for canned goods, however.
Using Clear Jel in your home-canned pie filling is very straightforward. All you have to do is mix equal parts Clear Jel and water. The measurement is typically 1 to 5 tablespoons, depending on what type of fruit you're using. Whisk the mixture together until it's well combined and then toss it into your fruit pie filling mix on the stove. Cook the mixture until bubbles start to form, and then take the pie filling off the heat. That's it! You've just made thick, homemade pie filling that's perfect for canning.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.