Recipes w/ Instant ClearJel:

"Amazing" Apple Pie Filling

"Beautiful Old Glory" Patriotic Pie

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix


  • ICJ is a terrific secret ingredient for specialty baked goods: i.e. homemade breads, rolls, plus nice and soft cookies!
  • ICJ is my go-to-ingredient for improving quite a few recipes for many years. It's what I love to make frozen fruit toppings with and seasonal fruit pie fillings for filling frozen, unbaked pies, which enjoy baking several months later.

  • Tips & Techniques...
    These have remained as commercial thickeners, rather than becoming "household" names and/or ingredients, to be regularly stocked on your local grocery shelves, (primarily) because if these otherwise "wonderful thickeners" are added [improperly] they will most assuredly clump! However that's easy to avoid.

    Whenever adding to my recipes… (or some of your own favorites)


    a. Add first (with other dry ingredients) either with sugar (or another granulated sweetener), with any flour(s) or powdered milk, even combine with spices, if there's enough in particular recipe.

    b. Only add when recipes (are either cold or at room temperature) BEFORE you decide to incorporate any heat. Mix completely to disperse the thickener, and then bring to a boil or bake as directed.

    c. The thickeners may be carefully blended with liquids. I normally and preferably use an immersion stick-blender, often a food processor and other times perhaps a whisk; it just all depends on the application within a certain recipe.

    ***Instant Clear Jel, 1 Lb. 

    Enjoy More Info, where I've posted more technical info here

    Note: The manufacture states their 25-lb original bags of Instant ClearJel are Certified Gluten-Free. 

    Instant ClearJel powders [may] become unsafe from cross-contamination with other grains during re-packaging from wholesalers and retail sources.

    ***Ultra Gel powder

    I've been using Ultra Gel for well over 15+ years, personally, myself.

    I also recommend this hot/cold instant thickener, which disperses more easily within many recipes than Instant ClearJel. Understand though it's only half as POTENT as Instant Clear... so you need TWICE as much Ultra Gel for a specifically written "ICJ" recipe. This has always been my experience, but the convenience of simply whisking it with a fork, and you needn't add any extra dry ingredients, i.e.: sugar or purée the food... is also a welcome addition.

    For first time buyers of Ultra Gel be sure to invest in Ultra Gel 1 lb & the Ultra Gel COOKBOOKIt's an excellent reference book for using modified food starch thickeners in recipes. You actually CAN substitute Instant ClearJel for Ultra Gel and visa versa. Although the authors caution you NOT to, but I always* have (hahaha) and successfully, but it CAN be tricky!

    *EXCEPT for canning, NEVER use ICJ for canning - it will get to thick in the middle for the heat to penetrate - which can eventually lead to botulism.

    Just remember to use 50% less ICJ, because Instant Clear Jel is twice as potent. Plus ALWAYS remember to mix ICJ with any DRY INGREDIENTS FIRST for easier disbursement, so it do NOT clump! Then add the mixture to the wet ingredients. There you GO, have fun!


    Storage: If kept dry, these products last almost indefinitely, but the manufacture recommends 2 years. I always keep on hand: 1 lb Ultra Gel (aka: Ultra Sperse) on hand, 3-5 lbs Instant ClearJel® and about 2 of regular clearjel for canning. ClearJel® is normally marketed as "one word", and is often referred to as "clear gel" on a number of websites.

    Note: Again Instant clearjel is NOT recommended for canning. Ultra Gel works well for canning though.

    ***Regular Canning ClearJel  

    This cooked-type clearjel powder is best known and was specifically developed for thickening "canned" jams and COOKED processed fruit pie fillings.
    • It's also a great "year-round-thickener" for making jams and pie fillings (from previously frozen fruit).
    • Abeit... jams & pie filling products should not be frozen thereafter - whereas ICJ jams and pie fillings are great for freezing.


    1. Miss Sharon Anne
      have you ever seen any numbers on the clear jel's,,
      I really would like the carb counts.. I use both of them but really need to know.. help me if you can on that ok...
      huggs dear lady
      sheila in GA

    2. That's a very good question, and I do know the answer. The nutrutive values are the same as cornstarch, which are:

      Per Serving (1-tsp):
      10 Calories
      Trace Fat (0.1% calories from fat)
      Trace Protein
      2g Carbohydrate
      Trace Dietary Fiber
      0mg Cholesterol
      Trace Sodium
      Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch).

      Thanks for asking!

      Sharon Anne

      1. Just in case someone is wondering... why not just use CORNSTARCH... for less money then? I still use cornstarch for cream pies, but Instant ClearJel hands down is the WINNER for my fruit pies!

        With cornstarch - the fruit within pies often spreads when cut and served.

        With INSTANT CLEARJEL - my fruit pies serve up beautifully, and there are NO starchy flavors!

      2. Strawberries are plentiful in the grocery stores these days, so you will love this recipe.

        It's one of our favorite pies. Truly Beautiful!

        Enjoy. -- Sharon Anne

    3. Thank you so much..... this is a huge help..
      have a blessed day

    4. I just canned my first peach pie filling but I am not sure if it will be okay. I use "instant clearjel". I would hate to loose all those beautiful peaches and all that hard work. Please comment. Thank you.

    5. Instant ClearJel is NOT RECOMMENDED for canning. Whereas Regular ClearJel IS! The heat can't penetrate to the center of the jar when using ICJ. Yet all is not be lost, you can freeze the jars as is, and your FILLING will thaw beautifully. However better yet, what I use to do, (before I found out I was Gluten-Intolerant) I pre-rolled all my pie pastries and filled my pies with filling and FROZEN them, wrapped in plastic Zip-loc bags. Then I baked the pies at 375°F for an extra 30 to 45 minutes.

    6. May I ask this: Is clear jell in essence a combination of cornstarch and unflavored gelatin?

    7. Nope, there's no unflavored gelatin in Instant ClearJel, it's a "modified" food starch, but looks exactly like cornstarch, yet it's formulated to thicken when liquid is added to it, I mean literally "instantly". No kidding, that is why it clumps, when added incorrectly to recipes.

      The manufacture refers to it as a (cold-swelling) product, which means it will thicken without cooking, if desired. However, Instant ClearJel thickens thickens very well in recipes on the stove top and also bakes exceptionally well within recipes in the oven too.

      To avoid clumps, always distribute first in with some other dry ingredient already called for in the recipe: i.e.: sugar, flour or powdered milk.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Let me update me reply, yes it thickens instantly, however it will reaches it greatest thickening potential within 5 minutes; so patience is a virtue. :-)

    8. You said ultra gel was certified gluten free yet I see no certification label on any images of the bag. How do you know they've been tested? Thanks.

    9. Thank you so MUCH for pointing this out, it's important to me too. I was simply taking it on face value. My mistake was to believe Cornaby's was going off any (possible) GF certification from the manufacture's original bulk packaging.

      I have emailed Cornaby's inquiring about new images and/or GF certification. Until I hear back I have erased it. Thank you again very much.


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