Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reliquefying Crystallized Honey

Originally published 3/10/07:

Honey is too expensive to be wasted. In cold weather, mine always crystallizes because our pantry area is kept cool.

This tip was passed along to me in e-mail: To keep honey, syrups and jellies from crystallizing, add 1/4 to 1/2 cream of tartar to each pint and mix well.

This is from Carla Emery's book Encyclopedia of Country Living:

"Any liquid honey may crystallize into a stiff, whitish texture if stored in a cool place. Sometime this happens after only a week or so, sometimes after several months. This process is called granulating and is normal. It doesn't harm your honey one bit."

Re-liquefying Crystallized Honey: When my honey in the can gets sugary on top, I just put the can on the back of the wood stove or very low heat on the electric stove, and the sugars will go back into the solution as fast as it warms; 130 degrees F (water no hotter than you can bear your hand in) is a perfect temperature to do the job. You can warm a quart jar of honey in a double boiler. Honey in a glass container can be re-liquefied in a microwave oven. (Remove the cover first! Then cook on high 30 seconds or until clear.) No matter what your method is, be careful not to overheat. Don't boil the honey because that ruins the delicate flavor. Just keep it at about 130F until it re-liquefies--it may take hours or days depending on how much honey you're working with. Storing it in a warmer place will help avoid a repeat.