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What is Creamed Honey?
Creamed Honey, Whipped Honey, Spun Honey- they are all the same thing. Using a controlled rate of crystallization, liquid honey is transformed into a smooth, sweet spread that can be used as a topping on many foods. It tastes great on toast or bagels but you can just eat it straight from the spoon too. Want to make your own creamed honey at home? It’s really an easy process that anyone can try.
Creamed honey has the same nutritional value of regular honey. In fact, that’s what it is – just regular honey that has changed form.
And despite the name, it does not contain any dairy product. The important thing to remember is that: whipped, spun or creamed – it’s all the same honey product made by bees.
Crystallized Honey is a Natural Process
What is the difference between crystallized honey and creamed honey? Nothing really. They are both the same thing.
Almost all types of raw honey will crystallize or “become granulated over time.” From a technical point of view, honey is a super-saturated sugar. It has the tendency to become a solid product.
But this does not happen to all types of honey at the same rate. Honey varieties such as clover tend to crystalize quickly while Tupelo honey is very slow to become a solid.
This change can freak people out if they don’t understand it. 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. But, 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. Done carefully, warming does not hurt the raw properties at all.
Creamed Honey Tastes Different
Left to its own devices, raw honey forms crystals slowly over a long period of time. The slowly formed crystals are large and feel gritty on the tongue. The end product is ugly and less appealing.
But, you make make your own by controlling the rate of crystallization. This produces smaller smooth crystals resulting in a smoother spread that is less gritty.
There are two different methods commonly used to make creamed honey products.
- Dyce Method
- Raw Method
Dyce Method of Making Creamed Honey
The Dyce Method is the most common way of creating a nice spun 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. All raw foods have some chance of contamination. This matters to people who have compromised immune systems more than regular healthy adults.
All honey has a water content. The average moisture content of ripe honey is around 19%. 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. This is not good unless you are trying to make mead.
Protecting honey from absorbing moisture from the air is one reason you should always store honey in a container with a tight lid. 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 ° 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. We begin with a container that already has a very soft and smooth consistency.
Buy Creamed Honey Starter
The easiest way to get good quality creamed honey starter is to purchase it. Clover honey is known to be a good choice. Most commercial brands will have nice smooth crystals.
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 starter honey for a seed starter.
Creamed Honey Recipe
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. If you do not use enough starter, the end product will be grittier than the starter.
Your liquid honey should not be warm – it would melt your crystals! Stir, stir, stir to combine the seed and liquid well. Let it settle for a few minutes allowing air bubble to escape.
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!
Now, you must be patient. 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 (at this consistent cool temperature), your honey should be ready to enjoy.
Can Creamed Honey Be Substituted for Liquid Honey
Creamed honey can be substituted for liquid honey in making baked goods and more. It is also delicious on toast or a bagel. It can be added to tea or coffee and is especially delicious when spread on honey blueberry scones or biscuits.
The flavor of spun honey is a bit different that regular honey because it is more dense. Because of the solid consistency, it is easier to use and less messy than liquid. Fewer drips = less mess.
How to Store Creamed Honey
Storing creamed honey is very easy – just keep it cool. After the crystallization process is complete, you can store your containers in the refrigerator without any harm.
But, the kitchen counter is fine as long as the room temperature is below 75 ° F. It will revert back to liquid when exposed to heat. And no, it will not crystallize back to the best consistency on its own.
Making Flavored Creamed Honey
If you want to get really creative, add a bit of powdered cinnamon or cocoa powder to your honey mixture before pouring it into containers.
Some people enjoy adding dried fruit etc to the recipe. That’s really yummy! Even people who are not big honey fans seem to enjoy it. Over the years, I have made thousands of containers of creamed honey. Now you can too.