What is Creamed Honey?
One of the most fascinating things about honey is the numerous ways it can be enjoyed. Straight from the spoon, added to tea or used in baking… honey gets around. Another cool way to eat honey is by making Creamed Honey.
Creamed honey is a word used to describe honey in a “certain state”. You will also hear the terms: whipped honey or spun honey used to describe it.
And no, it does not contain any dairy product. The important thing to remember is that: whipped, spun or creamed – it’s still honey.
Crystallized Honey – It’s A Natural Thing
What is the difference between crystallized honey and creamed honey? Nothing really. They are both the same thing.
From a chemical point of view, honey is a super-saturated sugar. It has the tendency to become a solid product. Almost all types of raw honey will crystallize over time.
Honey varieties such as clover tend to crystalize quickly while Tupelo honey is very slow to become a solid.
Some folks say their honey has “turned to sugar”. Gritty crystals of sugar will form in the bottom of a jar of raw honey. In fact, the whole jar may become a solid mass.
Honey that has crystallized is not ruined. It is still safe to eat and not a sign that it has gone bad.
However, if you prefer to maintain your honey in a liquid state – it is rather easy to warm honey enough to decrystallize it back to original consistency.
Why Creamed Honey is Different
Creamed Honey is made using the natural crystallization process. Left to its own devices, raw honey forms crystals slowly over a long period of time. The crystals are large and feel gritty on the tongue.
When the process is controlled, we can create creamed honey with smaller smooth crystals. The end result is a smoother spread that is less gritty.
This is achieved by adding honey with small seed crystals and controlling the speed of crystallization.
2 Methods of Making Creamed Honey
- Dyce Method
- Raw Method
The Dyce Method is the most common way of creating a nice creamed honey product. Developed by Elton Dyce in the mid 1930’s, he begins with honey that is pasteurized.
The process of pasteurization kills any yeast that might be present in raw honey. During crystallization, the water content of honey will rise slightly.
If the honey you are using already has a borderline higher water content – you could end up with fermented honey.
Naturally, for commercial enterprises – using pasteurized honey cuts down on risks of spoilage.
Now “seed crystals” are added to the cooled pasteurized honey. What are seed crystals? A small amount of honey that has already crystallized to a smooth form.
The mix should be 10% seed crystals and 90% pasteurized honey. Mix well. We want to disperse the seed honey throughout the liquid.
Pour into desired small containers and leave to rest in a cool place. The best temperature for making creamed honey is 57 degrees F (14 C).
Within a week or 2, the process should be complete and you will have a delicious honey spread.
Raw Method of Making Creamed Honey
This is the method that most beekeepers use to make creamed honey. We prefer to keep our honey in its most raw state. And, it is usually made in small easy to handle batches.
A small amount of creamed honey for “seed crystals” is needed. Where do we get this?
The easiest thing to do is to purchase a small container of good creamed honey. Clover honey is known to be a good choice.
Another option is to let a small amount of honey crystalize naturally, then use a mortar and pedestal to crush the large gritty crystals to a smaller size. I tried this once – trust me – buy the clover creamed honey for seed starter.
Using weight as a measurement: add the starter honey(1 pound) to regular liquid honey (7 pounds). I use the 1 – 7 ratios but you can use the 1-10 as Dyce if you wish.
Your liquid honey should not be warm – it would melt your crystals! Stir, stir, stir and let settle for a few minutes.
Now, pour the mixture into your desired containers and seal. Flat plastic containers are good or a wide mouth glass jar. Remember, you have to be able to spoon it out!
Find a cool – not cold place to let the honey rest. A refrigerator is often too cold unless you have an extra one that you can have just barely running. A cool corner of the basement is a fine choice for most.
In a couple of weeks, your creamed honey should be ready to enjoy. These make wonderful gifts.
Using Creamed Honey
This delicious honey spread can be used on toast or a bagel. It can be used just like regular honey in coffee or tea. It will last indefinitely in a sealed jar.
Keep it Cool
Creamed honey will revert back to liquid when exposed to heat. And no, it will not crystallize back to the best consistency on its own. Keep your creamed honey in a cool location to enjoy it in spread form.
After the crystallization process is complete, you can store your containers in the refrigerator without any harm. The kitchen counter is fine as long as the room temperature is below 75 degrees F.
Use Your Imagination
If you want to get really creative, add a bit of powdered cinnamon or cocoa powder to the mixture before pouring it into containers. Some people enjoy adding dried fruit etc to the recipe. That’s really yummy!
I have made thousands of containers of creamed honey over the years. Even though people who are not honey fans seem to enjoy it.