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DIY Infused Honey


infused honey

Early spring is quiet in the kitchen of my Boston-area jam company, Doves and Figs—a perfect time for playing with new recipes and ingredient combinations. Many of our fruit preserves are seasoned with herbs and spices, so I decided to take these raw materials in a slightly different direction by creating infused honeys with Amy Hirschfield, the owner of Soluna Garden Farm in Winchester, Mass.

Hirschfeld offered a quick lesson and tips for flavoring honey (see below). After some experimentation, we landed on Raspberry and Rosemary Honey; Lemon Thyme and White Peppercorn Honey; and Green Tea and Jasmine Flower Honey.

For equipment, you need a double boiler (to prevent scorching the honey over direct heat), candy thermometer, large pot or canner (for sterilizing jars), fine strainer or cheesecloth, and clean glass jars (see recipes for specific sizes). To sterilize empty jars in advance, put them right side up on the rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill the canner and jars with hot (not boiling) water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Boil 10 minutes. Remove and drain hot sterilized jars.

Infused honey is delightful drizzled over cheese or other desserts for spring entertaining. Or tie a homemade tag around a jar for a sweet host or hostess gift. Ready, set, simmer!

Raspberry and Rosemary Honey
This is a great way to use those summer-harvest raspberries squirreled away in the freezer—frozen berries lose their shape when thawed, but not their intense flavor.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups frozen raspberries
  2. ¼ cup dark honey, such as buckwheat honey
  3. 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Add raspberries plus 2 tablespoons water to a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook until very soft, about 5 minutes. Mash, then strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Return raspberry juice to the pot and add honey and rosemary. Bring mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook 5 minutes. Remove rosemary and pour honey into a sterilized 12-ounce (or 2 6-ounce) glass jar(s). Store in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
PAIR WITH
  1. Fresh ricotta or Shy Brothers Farm Cloumage. The sweet-tart flavor of this syrup enlivens a mild, creamy cheese. Cohen suggests serving French toast squares stuffed with Cloumage alongside a small pitcher of this sauce for a crave-worthy brunch.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/

Lemon Thyme and White Peppercorn Honey
With a citrus aroma and savory herbal flavor, dried lemon thyme presents a nice contrast to sweet honey, while white peppercorns add a spicy—but not overpowering—note.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup light honey, such as wildflower or clover honey
  2. 1 tablespoon dried lemon thyme
  3. 1 teaspoon cracked white peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Add water to the bottom of a double-boiler set over medium heat and add honey to the top. Stir in thyme and peppercorns. Cook until honey reaches 185°F on a candy thermometer. Maintain temperature 10 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a sterilized 8-ounce glass jar. Store at room temperature up to 6 months.
PAIR WITH
  1. Cellars at Jasper Hill Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. Sweet and citrusy with peppery zing, this honey enhances the grassy tang and caramel flavors in the cheese.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/

Green Tea and Jasmine Flower Honey
Jasmine green tea imparts a delicate, earthy flavor and beautiful floral fragrance to the honey. Using teabags makes the process super-simple.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup light honey, such as wildflower or clover honey
  2. 4 jasmine green tea bags (or loose tea bundled in cheesecloth or muslin)
Instructions
  1. Add water to the bottom of a double-boiler set over medium heat and add honey to the top. Stir teabags gently into honey. Cook until honey reaches 185°F on a candy thermometer. Maintain temperature 10 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove tea bags (squeeze off any honey that clings to the bags) and pour honey into a sterilized 8-ounce glass jar. Store at room temperature up to 6 months.
PAIR WITH
  1. Great Hill Blue. The floral honey is an ideal counterpoint to this salty, funky wedge. Serve with crispy thin rice crackers.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/
 

Infused Honey Help

  • Light honey allows added flavors to shine.
  • Use the warm-infusing method if flavoring honey with dried leafy herbs, fruit, and tea.
  • Use the cold-infusing method if flavoring honey with hard spices such as cinnamon sticks, star anise, or allspice berries. Add these to the honey and steep at least 2 days and up to 2 weeks, then strain.
  • In either method, the longer the ingredients sit in the honey, the stronger the flavor of the finished product.

 

Robin Cohen

Growing up, Doves and Figs owner Robin Cohen helped her dad make jam. Her award-winning spreads are made from fresh Massachusetts fruit and have been featured in The Boston Globe, Yankee Magazine, Boston magazine, and Saveur.

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