Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How to Make Creamed Honey

Making creamed honey is easy to do.  You don't have to be a beekeeper to make it. That's because all you need is… liquid honey and some seed honey.

Over time natural honey will soon develop large chunky crystals. It's not a sign that the honey is bad and the honey won't taste any different. It's just that the crystals aren't so pleasant on the tongue. These crystals have square corners that feel sharp and give an unpleasant sensation.

Enter Prof. Dyce from the University of Cornell. He developed a process to control the formation of crystals so that smooth oval shaped crystals are created. These are very spreadable and smooth on the tongue.

But how do you get these smooth oval crystals in your honey?

It's easy: You buy them.

Visit your local established beekeeper. He'll have creamed honey on hand. Try it first, paying attention not to the flavour of the honey but to the feel and sensation of the crystals on your tongue. If they're appealing then buy some.

Use that creamed honey to seed your clear honey by inserting a tablespoon or more into a jar. Then stir the crystals in thoroughly and put the whole thing in the fridge for about two weeks. Presto! You'll have smooth, non drip, spreadable creamed honey. Your own honey gives the flavour but the smooth seed crystals give the texture.

How does this happen? Our favourite golden liquid has a trick or two up its sleeve. If you give clear honey smooth crystals it will replicate them naturally. The term is 'following suit'. The small crystals prevent the formation of larger crystals. It's very similar to how yogurt and cheese are made, although they use cultures as seed.

[Photo - this jar is 90% crystalized - notice the bottom 1" that hasn't converted yet. It's important to stir the seed right to the bottom. With this jar the spoon and beater wouldn't reach the bottom].

By the way, other terms for creamed honey are Whipped Honey, Spun Honey, Churned Honey, Candied Honey, Honey Fondant and Set Honey. All are processed naturally through controlling the crystallization.

[Photo - two buckets of purchased creamed honey that I use as seed for my own.  The electric beater stirs the seed very well but it's not long enough to reach the bottom of tall jars.]
Beekeepers don't forget this is another product line you can sell.  Non drip creamed honey is great for kids and not so messy.  Moms have less clean up in the kitchen and that's a big selling point.

Honey can be stirred using an electric drill - see photo below.  This is a paint stirring drill attachment that I purchased from the local hardware store.

More info on making Creamed Honey can be found through these links:

Creamed Honey - Dyce Method
Wikipedia - Honey