When you give someone a gift about which you can say, "I made this just for you," the gesture has a special meaning.
Here's a suggestion for such a present: a gleaming jar filled with flavor-infused honey.
Infused honey is remarkably simple to make, and each infusion can be concocted to suit the individual taste of your recipient - who could be friend, family, teacher or co-worker.
Following are recipes for six different flavor combinations of infused honey: orange, mint, ginger lime, rosemary, hot pepper, and cinnamon clove.
The method for making each of the flavors is basically the same:
Start with 1 cup of pure honey and simply vary the main flavoring ingredient. Place honey in a small saucepan. Add flavoring. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat immediately and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Only cinnamon-clove needs to stand for 24 hours.
Strain while still warm. Place in sterilized jars and garnish with respective fresh herbs or zest, if desired.
- Orange Honey is perfect over duck or combined with butter over cooked carrots. Add to honey the zest of 1 orange, cut into strips and squeezed to release flavor; then follow basic method.
- Mint Honey is a refreshing addition to hot or cold teas. Add to honey 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, squeezed to release flavor; then follow basic method.
- Rosemary Honey is an aromatic accent for warmed brie or used to season pork. Add to honey 3/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, squeezed to release flavor; then follow basic method.
- Hot Pepper Honey adds a delightful kick when slathered on cornbread or when used as a glaze for chicken. Add to honey 2 large jalapeno peppers, sliced; then follow basic method.
- Cinnamon-Clove Honey is heavenly stirred into French toast batter, or blended with butter for summer squash. Add 5 cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon cloves to 1 cup honey. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat immediately and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 24 hours. Reheat over low heat and strain to remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. Place in sterilized jars and garnish with fresh cinnamon sticks and cloves.