I love a great DIY opportunity especially one that’s simple and with Southwestern flavors. I’ve had chile-flavored honey before and love the spicy-sweet addition to foods like cornbread. After creating a batch of Cherry Bounce (bourbon, cherries and sugar dating back to George Washinton’s era) my interest has been piqued and I’m anxious to do more infusing. I’m not sure exactly how this recipe idea popped to mind; perhaps in parallel with creating a smoky breakfast pancake recipe, Mesquite Blue Corn Blueberry Pancakes (gluten-free) that cry for an unexpected topping like Chile-Infused Honey. If you have not tried mesquite flour, it has a wonderful ‘campfire’ flavor that is unexpected and earthy. A little goes a long way and it calls out for special partner flavors such as this honey.
Once making the honey I realized how many other uses it would have. Drizzled over a piece of crusty toast for breakfast on a chilly winter’s day. Swirled over yogurt to add some sweetness and heat to that familiar tangy flavor. Cornbread would be a natural, already pairing well with heat and honey’s sweetness. On granola. In smoothies. The possibilities are truly limitless!
Being made with dried chilies, the heat in this infused honey is a subtle one. Lacking the spice intensity that fresh chilies have makes this Chile-Infused Honey a more mild-mannered partner to perk up to your favorite foods! I’ve used dried New Mexican chilies however you can substitute another variety of small chilies as is available in your area. If you aren’t sure where to look for dried chilies, I would suggest the Mexican food section of larger grocery stores, Whole Foods or a Mexican grocery store in your area. Finding them online is easy too through Amazon.com or for an excellent source of Southwestern supplies The Santa Fe Cooking School has an online store. Small batches of the honey are a great gift idea too.
DIY Chile-Infused Honey
This simple recipe adds some zip to regular honey by infusing chile flavors. The recipe makes a 1/2 pint (1 cup) however the recipe can be multiplied to make larger batches. Since it is made with dried chilies the spicy flavor is not overwhelming.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 /2 pint of chile-infused honey
- 1 cup Honey
- 5 dried New Mexican red chilies (another small chile variety may be substituted to your taste)
- Half pint jar and lid
- Place dried chilies in the bottom of the glass jar.
- In a saucepan over very low heat warm the honey. Note: If you are using raw honey as I did it will solidify over time so either dig some out and warm, or place the open jar in a saucepan of water and bring to a low boil until the honey melts in the jar.
- When is liquefied and hot, pour into the jar over the chilies. Allow it to cool fully before sealing with a lid. Let it sit for a few days before using. It may be stored at room temperature indefinitely.