I love honey. I’ve always loved honey. One of my earliest memories is of the dozens of honey quart jars my parents kept in the basement. Most of them were quite older by then and fully crystallized. I loved to open the jars and crunch my way through a spoonful of crystallized honey. One of my favorite treats is still a couple slices of super-sharp cheddar and a small bowl of honey.
There was also, of course, the time I discovered that you could drop those quart jars over the side of the stairs. They made the most incredible sounds and patterns as they shattered on the basement floor, but we’ll leave that story for another time….
Anyway, in my prepping for doing beehives either this spring or next (probably next due to other issues) I discovered that creamed honey is actually quite simple to make. I had always assumed that creamed honey was, well, creamed and complex. It’s not. It’s really quite easy, and I just finished making my first quart-size batch. Delicious.
The secret to creamed honey is that it is just crystallized. Like most any substance that crystallizes, if a crystallized structure is introduced to the non-crystallized liquid, the liquid will form crystals similar to what was introduced. In English, that means that if you put big crystals in a batch of fresh honey, it will crystallize with big crystals. But if you put very small, fine crystals in the honey, you end up with creamed honey.
All you really need is some fresh honey (local is better tasting in my opinion, has stronger anti-allergenic properties for your region, and supports your local beekeeper!), a sample of creamed honey with a smooth crystal structure, and a strong arm. That’s it.
Take your fresh honey and add a portion of creamed honey equal to a tenth or so of the total amount. The actual amount truly is unimportant, and for my batch I used about two tablespoons for 1 quart. After you’ve added the creamed honey, mix it. This is where that strong arm comes in. The better your blend, the faster it’ll cream. I’ve seen some sites that recommend hooking a mixing blade up to your power drill because a standard mixer is not powerful enough to really blend the honey.
After you’ve mixed the honey, set it in a cool place to set. You’ll know when it is done when the honey no longer pours and is solid (turn it on its side; if it runs out, it’s not creamed). Mine set in about two weeks, but I’ve heard that it takes longer in really cool or really warm conditions.
One of the big advantages with creamed honey is that it won’t crystallize anymore than it already is, which is nice if you’ve got a problem with your honey setting up with big crystals that are hard to break and work with. That is also a big advantage if you need to store honey for food storage, like we do. And of course, nothing quite tops the smooth, creamy texture of a finely creamed honey.
After you’ve done your first batch and if you like the texture, save a little and use that as the starter creamed honey for future batches.
Easy, delicious, and totally worthwhile.