Clover honey, also called homestead honey, is not a bee originated honey. Instead it is a homemade recipe that has been handed down for over a hundred years. Honey made from bees can be incredibly difficult to control the taste of. Bees travel over a wide area to get the nectar that is brought back to the hives. This nectar can come from many different plants and so trying to get a "pure" honey is next to impossible. But here is a recipe for homestead clover honey.
To start, you will need to gather your ingredients:
- 10 cups of white sugar
- 1 tsp of alum (optional)
- 3 cups of boiling water
- 2 cups of fire weed blossoms
- 1 cup of red clover blossoms
- 2 1/2 cups of white clover blossoms
- 1/3 cup of blackberries (optional)
Cooking utensils you will need:
- 1 Large Saucepan
- 1 Strainer
- Paper towels
- Cheesecloth (optional)
- 7 Canning jars
You will notice that there are some optional ingredients included. Alum is a very common baking ingredient but some people avoid its use. The clover honey recipe does not really change without it and many people do omit it as an ingredient. The fire weed blossoms and the blackberries will be discussed later. This recipe makes 7 x 8 oz jars. If you are not going to give the clover honey away, make sure you follow proper procedures for using sterilized canning jars for longer storage, and store anything you make under refrigeration. The time it takes to make this is approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes.
- Mix the water, sugar and alum (optional) in a large saucepan or pot, and boil for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat.
- Put the blossoms in the strainer, rinse off and drain well. Dry with the paper towels. Make sure that you do not have any leaves or green parts on the blossom. This will make the honey come out tasting wild or grassy.
- Mix in the ingredients with the water mixture, stir and let steep for 3 hours. What is steeping? Steeping simply means letting the dry ingredients soak. This will allow the flavors of the blossoms to be transferred to the liquid mixture. The longer the steeping the more of the flavor will come through. As an option, you can add the blackberries to the steeped mixture; it will add flavor and a wonderful coloration to the clover honey.
If you are planning on canning the clover honey, for long term storage, then you should be sterilizing your canning jars during this steeping period.
- Strain the entire mixture through your cheesecloth. You will want to make sure that you have removed the plant matter. Any leftover plant matter could supply bacteria growth, causing an early spoiling of your clover honey. If you have used blackberries, you should squeeze them while they are in the cheesecloth to get the most of their flavor.
- Bring it back up to a boil in the large saucepan. Then pour the clover honey into the jars and seal those that you plan on storing.
That's it, a recipe that has been around for over a hundred years. Easy enough for the entire family to make and enjoy together.