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Ask a Foodie: What Can I Substitute for Corn Syrup?

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You can make a pecan pie without corn syrup.

You can make a pecan pie without corn syrup.

Q. I’m allergic to corn. What can I use as a substitute for corn syrup in a pecan pie?


A. A lot of people are avoiding corn these days for a number of reasons, including allergies. It’s worse than sugar when it comes to diabetes because of how unpredictable it can act in the blood stream. Plus, a great deal of corn these days is genetically modified, which a growing number of people refuse to eat.

A few more questionable characteristics are raised on FitDay. But so are some solutions.

“Corn syrup can be replaced by a sugar syrup,” the site says. “Combine one cup of pure cane sugar with 1/4 cup of water and heat over a low flame. Cool and use directly in a recipe. If preferred, cover the pan for three minutes to help remove sugar crystals, then add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice or cream of tartar to the pan and stir frequently until it reaches the soft ball stage (a drop of the syrup will form a ball when immersed in cold water). Cool and store in a sealed container at room temperature. It should keep for up to two months.

“Alternatively, add granulated or brown sugar to a recipe that calls for corn syrup, cup for cup, then increase the amount of liquids used in the recipe by 1/4 of the amount of sugar added.”

Of course, there will be a difference in flavor. Think about the differences between American Coca-Cola, made with corn syrup, and the version of Mexican Coke that is made with sugar.

But think about being able to have pecan pie this Thanksgiving with no allergic reaction. That’s the best response of all.

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