I was strolling through the San Francisco Ferry Building with a friend the other day when we stopped to sample some honey from Sebastopol-based Beekind. I was more interested in sampling than buying, but my friend fell in love with the Red Raspberry Creamed Honey and bought a jar. I was hurt!
Beekind’s delicious Red Raspberry Creamed Honey
“Why would you ever buy honey, when you can have Sunset honey?”“Well,” he said, “you don’t make creamed honey.”
Was that a challenge? Probably not, but I took it as a challenge, and decided to make creamed honey our next Team Bee project. In the name of the One Block Diet, I quickly confiscated his newly purchased creamed honey for research (read: tasting) and photography purposes.
So what is creamed honey? Also called whipped honey, it’s nothing more than honey that has crystallized. You’ve probably produced your own crystallized honey if you’ve left it sitting around long enough. Given enough time all honey will crystallize. As you can see in the picture below, I left an almost empty jar of honey in my bottom desk drawer over the winter holidays, and when I came back it had crystallized. See the difference in color and texture?
Sunset honey in liquid and crystal form
The key to creamed honey is controlling the crystallization process. Crystallized honey left to its own devices usually ends up gritty and hard, because of very large crystals—still tasty, but not really useful in anything other than tea. By controlling timing and temperature, really good creamed honey is smooth, creamy, and spreads like warm butter.I’m also toying with the idea of adding our own flavors the way Beekind does. They mix in dried raspberries to give it that beautiful color, and boy is it delicious. Imagine smashing fresh berries into pure, sweet honey. I’m trying not to eat the whole jar. Maybe we should try some other kind of fruit? Or maybe vanilla? What do you think? Does anyone out there have tips for making really great creamed honey?