Non-GMO Replacement for High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Reader Contribution by Wendy Akin
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We all try to cut GMOs out of our diets and eat as organically as possible. There were two ingredients that frustrated me: corn starch and corn syrup. Both used to be in my favorite recipes and didn’t seem to have a suitable substitute. Recently, Clabber Girl has come out with a Non-GMO cornstarch available in some stores.

Still, there remained that hated bottle of corn syrup that prevents crystallization in candies and makes other confections smoother. Finally, one of my very favorite authors, the wonderful Patricia Wells, in her new book of French cuisine My Master Recipes, has her recipe for Invert Sugar Syrup. I tried it, tweaked it just a little and yes, it works! Here it is.


• 2 ¼ cups cane sugar
• half a small lemon
• 1 cup filtered water


1. In a heavy enamel or stainless pot (at least 2-quart), put in the sugar, squeeze in the juice of the lemon and add the water. Stir to begin melting the sugar, turn on the heat, clip on your candy thermometer and slowly bring to a low boil, stirring

2. When the syrup comes to a boil, stop stirring. Use your pastry brush dipped in some water to wash down the sides of the pot. Continue cooking at a boil to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature reaches 220 degrees, it goes pretty fast, so watch, don’t walk away.

3. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool a little, then funnel into a clean glass bottle. Let cool completely before refrigerating — it will keep months in the fridge. Now, we don’t have to add a GMO high-fructose syrup to the glaceed peels we’ll make this winter.

Wendy Akin is happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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