The Most Common Thickener — Cornstarch!
When that sauce is too thin, most cooks reach for this common kitchen staple. And it’s no wonder why, with its low cost and high availability. But just because there’s a box in your cupboard doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. So before you reach for cornstarch again, here are a few things you need to know.
Cornstarch is a strong thickener. That’s great if you’re looking for something that can hold its shape. But if you want to make that sauce a tad less runny, there may be better options.
While longer cooking times and high heat are ok, things don’t go well when frozen. The fridge is fine, but be sure to use a different thickener if you’re looking to fill your freezer.
Gluten-Free, Dairy Friendly!
Good news for gluten-free and dairy lovers! This thickener fits into both groups. However, avoid using lemon juice or other acidic foods for the best results. And be advised, too much can add a starchy taste to your goodies.
A quick word about appearance, cornstarch is known to create a glossy sheen and leave things somewhat opaque. Neither good nor bad on its own, but this may be something to keep in mind if glossiness or opacity is something you are looking to create or avoid.
- Use 1 Tablespoon cornstarch for every cup you want to thicken.
- Mix the cornstarch with a little liquid, then add to whatever you want to thicken and bring to a boil. Heat is needed to create the best texture.
- Continue to stir while your food thickens. Repeat with more cornstarch to make thicker.
- Make a Simple Fruit Topping by adding 1 Tablespoon cornstarch to 2 Tablespoons water.
- Add the mixture to 1 cup berries and cook until thickened.
- Delicious on top of desserts, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.