Monday, February 7, 2011

How to Make Cream Honey

Cream honey
It is known by many names, such as spun honey, whipped honey, and churned honey.  But contrary to popular belief, cream honey does not contain butter, although it's buttery- looking texture would suggest otherwise.

And in fact, some people do indeed spin or churn (sort of) the honey to get it to this buttery-like texture, but neither method is necessary for a cream honey product.

Honey naturally crystallizes (unless you eat it pretty quick after extraction). Crystallization is when the honey solidifies, giving it a hard texture. Some people get crystallization quick when they mistakenly think that honey needs to be refrigerated.   Lots of folks love it this way, while others will simply reheat the product, turning it back into liquid honey.

Crystallization is when honey turns into tiny crystal particles.  While these crystals are small, there is a method that makes these crystals even smaller, giving you a very smooth product.  This product is then called cream honey.

I love cream honey.  There's not a lot you can do with it once you cream it except use it for a spread, but it is yummy on toast, biscuits, bagels and muffins.

To get cream honey, you need to start off with pastuerized honey.  Typically we don't encourage heating honey because it will kill the beneficial enzymes of honey, but for a product like this it is necessary, and since you don't use much of it, won't matter much.

Heat to 150 degrees, then strain at least once, but twice preferably.  That kills any yeast and strains any foreign matter from the honey.  After cooling to at least 75 degress, take a cream honey product you have purchased, and add to your liquid honey at a ratio of 10% cream product to 90% liquid honey.  You can also purchase a seed powder from some large beekeeping companies which seems to be a type of confectioners sugar. The folks we talk to don't seem to like the seed powder much, but I can see the benefits of it.

Stir in the purchased cream starter or the powder seed starter. Put a lid on it, and let sit for at least 1 week at 57 degrees (cellars are good for this). During the stirring process, some will put it in big 5 gallon buckets and use a type of hook on the end of a drill and "spin" or "churn" it like this.  If you are going for big quantities, this would be necessary in order to get your product done quick and into containers; however, caution must be taken when using tools or scrapers in plastic buckets, as plastic scrapings could be introduced into the cream honey.

Easy and delicious!


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