If you follow our One Block Diet blog you know that I was recently inspired to make creamed honey for our newest Team Bee project. From what I’ve gathered so far, the process of making creamed honey requires only a little bit of stirring and waiting, but before you run out to buy (or harvest) your ingredients, there are a couple things you'll need.
Our starter honey
You'll need a smooth, creamy, crystallized honey that you’ll use as your seed or starter. When mixed with liquid honey, the starter will make the liquid honey crystallize and the resulting crystals will be the same size and texture as those in the starter. The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook suggests you test the quality of your starter by taste testing. If you can’t feel any crystals, you’re good to go. We happened to have a container of crystallized honey from a few years ago sitting around. It crystallized on it’s own, but is the perfect consistency. It's not at all gritty.For those of you who don’t have crystallized honey sitting around your house or office, it’s probably easiest to buy creamed honey to use. Cornell University’s Master Beekeeper program gives instructions for grinding coarse crystallized honey to a smoother consistency as well, but that seems a bit messy.
The other thing to consider, especially when thinking about how you’ll flavor your honey, is moisture content. According to Doug from Beekind, most honey has a moisture content between 16 and 18%. If moisture content is above 19% there's a pretty high chance of fermentation, so it's not a good idea to add fruit juice or oils.
We borrowed a refractometer from Tom, our friend and beekeeping mentor, and found that our honey has a moisture content of 15%. This is good news for us, as I really want to make a Lemon Creamed Honey using lemon juice from our garden. If your honey has a higher moisture content you should probably stick with dry ingredients like dried fruit or cinnamon. If you can't find a refractometer, you'll just have to make sure you eat your creamed honey before it has the chance to spoil.