Have you ever experienced this? You are pulling some fresh rolls out of the oven. You have the genius idea of getting some honey for your rolls. You reach into the pantry, pull out the honey. You grab your knife, open the jar, and realize that your honey is now a mass that you can get out.
Oh the terror!!!! What is one to do? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
Calm down. This happens to the best us. Honey does this. It crystallizes. But do not fret, you can return the honey to it's former state.
Why Does Honey Crystallize?
Before I get into what to do about it, I want to explain why it happens. Honey is supersaturated and is low in moisture.
This can lead to sugar crystals being formed. This will not ruin the honey, unless you let it go on for a very long time.
What Do I When My Honey Crystallizes?
It's pretty simple to fix the problem. You just need to heat up the honey to dissolve the crystals. But it's the way you do this that counts.
Don't Get the Honey Too Hot
This is very important. If the honey gets too hot you can damage the flavor and the nutrients in the honey. Best practice to use water that doesn't go pass 118 degrees. It would be even better if you can keep it to 95 degrees which is the normal temperature of the bee hive.
I like to use a thermometer to make sure the temperature of my water is too hot. You can also check the temperature with your hand. It should feel pleasantly warm to the touch, not too hot that you cant' stand to keep your hand in it.
You can either get warm water from your tap if it gets hot enough or you can heat it up in a pot. I usually heat the water in a pot, make sure the water isn't too hot, and then put the honey right in the pot (off the heat of course).
How long it takes to liquefy depends on how crystallized the honey is to start. You may have to change the water if it takes a while. Make sure to shake up the jar.
Why Hot Water?
Why does the hot water treatment work? By heating up the honey you increase it's ability to hold dissolved solids. Think about, it's easier to dissolve sugar in boiling water, than in super cold water.
You should try to keep your honey in a warm place , this will help slow down crystallization. But don't do keep in a too warm place like on top of or nearby your stove or in a warm window.
How Long Before Honey Crystallizes?
It's important to know that different types of honey will crystallize at different rates. Orange blossom or sunflower honey tends to crystallize quicker than most other varietal honeys. Avocado blossom honey should never crystallize.
A lot of the commercial, store bought honey won't crystallize, because they have been pasteurized. These honeys aren't worth your time anyway. They may save you a buck but they will lack the flavor of a good, raw honey.
Creamed Honey is Crystallized
Creamed honey is a type of honey that is crystallized. But this is done under controlled settings, to create a spreadable honey with fine crystals. Have you ever made candy like fudge before? You have to be careful in the process to not create huge crystals because they will give the fudge a grainy texture.
Same thing applies to making ice cream. It's way you can't just stick some ingredients in the freezer and expect to have a smooth ice cream.
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