One of our favorite simple pleasures around here is a good blue cheese on a cracker topped with honey. Another favorite is goat cheese paired with hot pepper jam, also on a cracker. This Hot Pepper Honey is part of a plan to fuse these two simple pleasures into one giant uber simple pleasure: tangy blue cheese meets sweet honey with a surprise kick.
It’s sweet. It’s fiery. It’s one of those ‘where has this been all my life’ tastes. The sweet cool honey hits the front of your tongue, the heat kicks in a moment later at the back of your mouth and it’s delightful.
There is a surprising amount of heat in the final product, considering that the peppers infuse for just a brief time in the warm honey, but the sweetness of the honey tempers the heat and results in a very pleasant sensation.
Making this is just a matter of gently heating the honey with the chili peppers so their flavors can mingle. The infused honey then gets strained, bottled, and voila—you have an amazing new condiment to experiment with, or a nifty little gift. And you know you’re going to need lots of nifty little gifts pretty soon.
Cheese plates often fill in as dinner at our house, and these kinds of special extras keep them them fun and interesting.
- 1 cup honey
- about 3 tsp crushed red peppers (about 5 small dried peppers)
- Put the honey and the peppers in a double boiler or a glass bowl or measuring cup over a saucepan of boiling water.
- Mix the peppers into the honey and heat for several minutes until the temp is about 150. A thermometer isn't necessary, but you don't want the honey to get so hot that you destroy the beneficial enzymes. Turn off the heat and let the honey sit over the water and steep for about 10 minutes.
- While the honey is still warm, strain it into a clean jar or jars.
Use it in salad dressings, on cheese, or in glazes for meats, fish or vegetables. Put some in your mint or lemon tea, especially if you’ve got a cold. Drizzle a little on fresh figs, or how about slathering it all over a hot buttered biscuit?
I highly recommend this, it’s an unexpected treat.