You might be surprised at how many different flavors and qualities of honey there are. And maple syrup, real maple syrup, has a light body and an intense flavor. But, like anything else, there are ways to “gild the lily” for something special.
To make a flavored honey or syrup, first measure out 2 cups and put it in the top of a double boiler. It is important to use a double boiler to keep honeys and syrups from scorching. Next, add flavorings. We like hibiscus flowers for honey, but there are other options.
Use the following as a guideline, but do taste the syrup or honey as it steeps. Your ingredients may be stronger or weaker in flavor, so let your palate be the ultimate guide. You may want to add more flavoring than suggested below, or perhaps you’ll need to shorten or lengthen the steeping time.
- 1 cup hibiscus flowers, steeped for 1 hour
- 1/4 cup orange peel, steeped for 45 minutes
- 2 tablespoons lemon peel, steeped for 45 minutes
- 1/2 cup lavender flowers, steeped for 30 minutes
- 2 cinnamon sticks, steeped for 30 minutes
- 1 cup fruit purée (raspberry or blueberry), steeped for 30 minutes
- 2 thick slices ginger, steeped for 30 minutes
- 2 tsp whole cloves, steeped for 15 minutes
Heat the honey or syrup to just below the boiling point (185°F) in a double boiler and keep it at that temperature, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Remove the honey or syrup from the double boiler. Add the flavoring of your choice, and let steep according to the times listed above. Strain the honey into a clean serving bowl or storage container.
You can keep flavored syrups and honeys on hand in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Serve flavored honeys and syrups slightly warm to bring out the aroma.
Makes 2 cups
- 2 cups honey
- 1 cup hibiscus flowers
- Heat the honey to just below the boiling point (185°F) in a double boiler and keep it at that temperature, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the honey or syrup from the double boiler and add the hibiscus flowers. Let steep for 1 hour and then strain into a serving bowl or storage container. Store any unused honey in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
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