Clear Jel is the Clear Winner

For the past seven days I have been picking, cleaning, cutting, crushing, juicing, slicing, cooking, and canning. Fifteen recipes, later I think I am due a break!

My next few posts will consist of mostly just the recipes and pictures I took while working in the kitchen. I’d put them all in one post, but that would be rather cumbersome to read not to mention write. For now, here is a list of the recipes to follow that will eventually have a link attached.

Strawberry Jam (no big surprise there)
Strawberry-Raspberry Lime Marmalade
Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam (2 versions)
Crushed Strawberry Syrup
Strawberry Sauce
Strawberry Lemonade Marmalade
Blackberry-Strawberry Seedless Spread
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Filling
Rhubarb Pie Filling
Rhubarb-Pineapple Jam
Fruit Leather (3 types: Strawberry, Plum, and Pineapple)
Mixed Summer Berry Lemonade Concentrate
Tropical Paradise Jam
Apple Pie Filling
Cinnamon Glaze

I think that’s all of them, but I won’t really know until I got through my pictures and recipes that are stacked on the kitchen counter in the “DONE” pile. There were several recipes for rhubarb that I didn’t get to because all I have left are four lonely stalks standing in a vase of water on the counter. Not enough to do much of anything with — but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

One thing that I discovered through all this canning and cooking is hands down Clear Jel is the absolute best thickening agent for jams, jellies, preserves, marmalades, fillings, etc. No matter how much or how little I put in, everything jelled enough. Some times I might have wanted a little firmer set or perhaps a little softer, but it was still jelled. Even the firmest set jam I made, that doesn’t move when you tip the bottle upside down, is soft and spreadable.

DSCF2637

Plus, unlike when using pectin where you are not able to alter the amounts of sugar without risking the results being too watery or unspreadable, I changed the amounts of sugar in nearly every recipe I had in order to make the final flavors what my family likes. Some are tarter and some are sweeter. Clear Jel’s setting is not contingent on how much sugar is in the recipe.

Finally, the price factor. In order to make all the recipes I listed above, it would have cost me more than $30 in pectin. The canister of Clear Jel I have has enough left in it to make at least two or three more batches, plus I was able to make a triple batch of strawberry rhubarb pie filling and a double batch of apple pie filling. The cost for one canister was $20 including shipping. Economically speaking, I don’t know why I’d ever consider going back to pectin.

It’s been a fun week of canning, but I am happy to have my kitchen clear of all my canning supplies, jars, recipes, and fruit, even if it is just for a few days. I’m already making plans for next weeks canning agenda, raspberries should be in any day now you know. For now though I am going to enjoy waking up tomorrow morning to a clean, clutter-free kitchen with no pressing canning to get done, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

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15 responses

    • I found it through Amazon, but it was an external website. Here is the link through Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Regular-Clear-Jel-10-can/dp/B007Z31JOG/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1403783674&sr=8-5&keywords=clear+jel

      If that doesn’t work, let me know. I just typed Clear Jel into the search on Amazon and it is by Rainy Day Foods for $20.22 with free shipping. I think it’s a four pound can. I bought two cans and haven’t even gone through the first one. Cherries and blueberries are still coming though. I bought it mainly to can pie filling, but the jams and jellies are great. I typically like a softer set jam because I don’t like to have to fight with the jam to spread. You can really control how firm the set is with how much you use. I’ve used anywhere from 4 to 7 tablespoons and made notes as to whether I’d increase of decrease next time. I’m too impatient to wait for a test portion to see if it’s okay. I just can it and then make notes later. You could easily do a test before canning and then make adjustments prior to canning.

      Let me know if you find it or have any other questions.

    • Lots of projects, but my pantry is filling up nicely. Actually it is bursting at the seams. I have 10 cases of filled jars on the floor because I have no shelves to put them on and no space for more shelves. I’m thinking I’ll have to completely revamt the pantry area which will be another huge undertaking. Not something I want to do during the heighth of canning season, but perhaps a necessity. Still, it’s exciting to see all the jars lined up and knowing we’ll be set for an entire year. Of course hubby keeps asking me, “Who’s going to eat all this?” Duh, we are! What is he thinking?

    • Thanks Jim. It’s truly a labor of love. The satisfaction of knowing my family will have home canned food for the coming year is so comforting. I can’t wait for vegetables to start coming in so I can begin those projects. Fruits are wonderful, but vegetables make me feel even more secure.

    • I love being able to change the amount of sugar also. Sometimes I think all the jellies start just tasting like sugar because there is so much. Now I can taste more of the fruit.

  1. Pingback: John Deere MX6 Shedder(Brush Hog) Repair Project | Town & Country Gardening

    • You should use the cooked. The company sent me a 25 bag of the instant stuff a while back by mistake and I still haven’t found a use for it. I know there’s got to be one, but for now it just sits there. The cooked version is what you want.

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