So you may be asking why on earth am I making a post on this, especially since we do not have a corn allergy in our house. Well, I am making this post for a few reasons:
1) The documentary King Corn flipped me out. If you are interested, check out the film’s trailer below. Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup are now things that I would like to avoid when I can. Now that I have my gluten-free diet down, I am at the beginning of a new journey to know where our food comes from, and to remove as many processed foods as possible. This recipe is made with granulated sugar, which is processed but I do not know a great deal about all the other more natural forms of sugar yet, or how to cook with them. Baby steps. 🙂
2) I have known many friends over the years who have children that are allergic to or need to avoid corn. Marshmallows are great kid fare: marshmallow cereal treats, Smore’s, Peeps, you name it, but most commercial marshmallows contain corn syrup and or cornstarch. So this is step one towards a corn-free marshmallow that you can make at home. (As I sit here writing this, I just saw another blogger’s post for corn-free marshmallows, where the author used Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which is made from cane sugar. I have never heard of this product before, but it might be worth checking into! Here is one other recipe for corn-free/cane sugar-free marshmallows that you might find worthwhile too).
3) I have also known (or known of) a few kiddos that are allergic to beef. I remember when I found out Sam’s old friend, who has EE, was allergic to beef. I had never heard of a meat allergy before! This opened my eyes to ingredients that are derived from beef (corn-fed, I bet! 😉 ), and one of those ingredients is gelatin. The gelatin has nothing to do with corn syrup, I am just leading up to the recipe for corn-free, cow-free marshmallows! 🙂
4) Lastly, I am just fascinated by the science of food. If I could go back in time, I would have changed my degree at Ohio State from Hospitality Management to Food Science. Maybe someday I will go back just for fun, once my kids are “off the payroll!” 😀
Light “Corn” Syrup
2 cups White Sugar (Cane or Beet)
3/4 cup Water
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar (acts as a stabilizer) (Cream of Tartar is a pure, natural ingredient that’s created as grape juice turns to wine).
Dash of salt (about 1/8 tsp., or a little less. I saw these measuring spoons at Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day and I might just get some!)
- Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan.
- Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage (I stopped at 230° F. because an earlier trial when I went to 240° F., the syrup solidified rather quickly. I would also recommend getting a digital thermometer over a traditional candy thermometer. They are easier to use in my opinion. I have a digital thermometer by OXO. It has not received great reviews on Amazon, but it has worked well for me over the course of the 2 months that I have had it. I bought it at a local cooking store and had not read the reviews before I purchased it.). Stir often.
- Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months (So far, I have tried two different methods of making this, and this method has worked best; where the syrup stayed in a liquid consistency for a full 24 hours. This morning though, my left over “syrup” had changed to a solid. You might be able to reheat it to change it back to a liquid but I have yet to try this, so I don’t know how well it works. At this time, I would recommend making the syrup as you need it and not in big batches to save for later use. I will keep experimenting and if I find a solution, I will let you know!). Makes almost 2 cups. Use this as a substitute in recipes that call for light corn syrup.