In the Fall 2015 issue of Country Gardens® we feature a honey-themed party hosted by organic herb and vegetable farmer, Val Jorgensen, in Westerville, Ohio. Bees, integral to her farm, provided the central ingredient to the pulled pork piled atop corn cakes, ricotta sauce, figs drizzled with thyme-infused honey, and pumpkin tea bread served with honey butter. Enjoy the sweet and timeless flavor of honey yourself with Jorgensen’s scrumptious recipes.
Jerry’s Pulled Pork with Honey-Balsamic BBQ Sauce
COOK: 10 hours in slow cooker
1 3 to 4 pounds organic, boneless pork roast
1½ cups water
2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked, Spanish paprika
1⅓ cup organic balsamic vinegar
1 cup organic ketchup
½ cup organic brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. organic Worcestershire sauce
¾ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1½ tsp. organic garlic, minced
½ cup local, raw honey
1. Add roast to slow cooker. Stir salt, garlic powder, and paprika into water and pour over roast. Cook on low for 10 hours or until meat falls apart.
2. After 9½ hours, combine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, and garlic in a medium saucepan and bring to boiling over medium heat. Continue gently boiling over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Let cool to about 130°F and then blend in honey. Mixture should be thick and syrupy.
3. Shred pork and stir in half of the prepared sauce. Serve remaining sauce alongside pork. Makes 12 servings.
Skillet-Toasted Cornmeal Corn Cakes
1 cup organic, all-purpose flour
¼ cup (generous) coarse-ground, organic grits
¼ cup (generous) organic cornmeal
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 large organic egg
3 Tbsp. local, raw honey
3 Tbsp. unsalted, organic butter, melted and cooled
1¾ cup plain, organic yogurt
1. Toast grits and cornmeal in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat for 8 minutes or until fragrant and a deeper yellow.
2. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, toasted cornmeal and grits. Combine with a whisk. Set aside.
3. In another bowl blend one egg with honey and cooled butter. Add yogurt, and whisk until combined.
4. Pour yogurt mixture into dry ingredients. Blend with a whisk just until combined—do not overmix. Let mixture sit for 6 to 8 minutes.
5. While batter is resting, preheat a griddle to 375°F and coat with a thin layer of coconut oil or butter. Drop generous tablespoons of batter onto hot griddle and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. When underneath is golden, flip corn cake and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter. Makes 12 medium corn cakes.
Pumpkin Honey Bread
1 cup local, raw honey
½ cup unsalted, organic butter, softened
1 can (16-oz.) organic, solid-pack pumpkin
4 large, organic eggs
4 cups organic, all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl cream honey with butter until light and fluffy. Stir in pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated.
3. Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Stir into pumpkin mixture, blending thoroughly without overmixing.
4. Divide mixture equally between two well-greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Bake on middle rack for 1 hour or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let loaves cool in the pan for 10 minutes; invert pans to remove bread and to finish cooling on racks. Makes two 9x5x3-inch loaves.
Dorothy Mae’s Honey and Lavender Biscotti
2¼ cups unbleached, organic, all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
⅔ cup granulated sugar
3 large, organic eggs
3 Tbsp. lavender and rose petal-infused honey
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. minced zest from one large organic orange
1 Tbsp. dried, organic lavender
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Oil baking sheet and cover with parchment.
2. Sift first four ingredients together in a small bowl.
3. Whisk sugar and eggs in a large bowl to a light, lemon color. Stir in next four ingredients. Sift dry ingredients over egg mixture. Fold into dough until just combined. Do not overmix.
3. Divide dough in half and transfer each portion onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Using floured hands and working quickly, shape each portion of dough into a log shape, roughly 13×2-inches. Allow about 3 inches in between the two portions on baking sheet. Smooth each shape by patting gently.
4. Bake, turning pan once, until loaves are golden and just beginning to crack on top, about 35 minutes.
5. Let cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
6. Using a serrated knife, cut each loaf diagonally into 3/8 -inch slices. Lay the slices about a ½ inch apart on baking sheet, cut side up, and return them to the oven. Bake, turning over each piece halfway through baking, about 15 minutes or until crisp and golden brown on both sides.
7. Transfer biscotti to wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for a least a month. Makes approximately 4 dozen.
6 oz. (1½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup local, raw honey
¾ tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl by hand or with a mixer. Makes about one cup.
1 cup Dijon mustard
½-¾ cup local, raw honey
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix honey and mustard together until smooth. Add salt and pepper. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes about 1½ cups.
Honey and Herb Ricotta Spread
3 cups fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup local, raw honey
1 tsp. fresh, whole thyme leaves
2 Tbsp. good-quality olive oil
Coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
1. Warm honey and thyme gently in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (the bottom should not touch the water). Do not heat the honey above 100°F.
2. Place ricotta in a shallow bowl. Pour honey mixture over ricotta. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Makes 10 servings.
Figs ’n Honey Topping
12 ounces dried figs, chopped
¼ cup local, raw, thyme-infused honey
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. water
Juice of 1 organic lemon
Combine dried figs with honey, olive oil, water, and lemon juice. Warm gently in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Warm thoroughly and continue heating for 10 to 15 minutes or until figs swell up. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers and use within a week. Makes 1 cup.