Make It Yourself: Chile-Infused Honey

Whenever there is a DIY (Do It Yourself) opportunity I grab it.  I find it incredibly gratifying to make something myself that I’d normally buy.  In this case I’m becoming a bit obsessed with ‘infusing’.  I have a Southwestern’ish recipe I’ve been refining and felt chile-infused honey would be just the ticket to top it off.
Chile-Infused Honey
This is totally a subjective process.  In my case I wanted to make about a half pint of the honey. I’ll share what I did but feel free to adapt for your needs.
Ingredients and Supplies
·         Honey
·         New Mexican red chilies (dried) – #5
·         Half pint jar and lid
1.      Place dried chilies in the bottom of the glass jar you are using.
2.      In a pan over very low heat warm the honey.  If you are using raw honey as I did it will solidify over time so just dig some out and warm.
3.      When liquefied, pour into the jar over the chilies and let set for at least a few days before using.  Keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I love the idea of this on crusty toast for breakfast on a cold day.  On yogurt, corn bread, anywhere that special sweetness of honey would go better with a ‘bite’ of the chile (it’s a subtle heat). 
Be sure to pop back next week to see where I used mine!

Comments

  1. says

    Gasp!! That looks amazing! I really need to start doing more things like that- I guess you could infuse with anything, really! Can't wait to see how you use it! BTW- totally appreciated your green chile stew recipe from the other day- one of my favorite winter concoctions!

  2. says

    Thanks all for your comments. It is easy (love that) and great tasting. Feels to open the door to endless possibilities too.

    On the shelf life, the 2 weeks is something I read about infusing oils and honey. I think in the case of oils when using fresh ingredients (esp. garlic) things can grow. Candidly I would not think that would be the case with honey and dried ingredients. I felt to err on the conversative side I would include that however. I think the flavor reaction occurs when the honey is warm so it's not going to improve over time anyway. Easiest to make a batch for a particular use. Just my thought about it. BL

  3. says

    Toni-Such a genius idea infusing chile peppers with honey. I would certainly love it. Never heard of this before, but I do love sweet, and spicy together, and this would be so delicious.
    HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

  4. says

    Oh my god – I love it! How about New Mexico Desert Wildflower honey infused w/ New Mexico chiles! A classic taste of new mexico in jar!

    This is a must do for me now.

  5. says

    Hi, a google search for making chile infused honey brought me here. I am a little concerned about botulism – I know that it’s a possibility when using fresh or even dried chile peppers. Do you think heating the peppers and honey together might reduce the risk? ALso, in my search I’ve noticed that some people suggest adding vinegar (acidity) might reduce the botulism issue but I’m not sure how much vinegar to add in a recipe like this and how to do it: heating it with the honey?
    I want to use ancho chiles – any idea how much I’d need per cup of honey? I’d have to break up the chile in order to use it so I’m thinking 1 chile should be enough? Or do you think I could stand to add more?

    • says

      I too was wary about introducing any bacteria which is why I chose dried chilies instead of fresh chilies, as I intended to store the honey for a short time refrigerated. I unfortunately do not know about adding vinegar though agree it would both change the flavor and the texture of the honey. When I made my honey I consulted with a beekeeper/honey producer who felt my approach was safe. Here is a safety article on infusing honey I located you might be interested in. It actually uses herbs instead of chilies though the key attribute is that they are dried: http://www.foodsafetysite.com/consumers/faq/?m_knowledgebase_article=640

      With regard to using ancho chilies I think you’ll need to experiment to find the flavor you enjoy!

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