Land of Milk and Honey

Cooking with Honey by Laurie Dotson

 honey bee coming atcha 2

Wow, what a morning. The weather is still chilly first thing , 46 degrees. The sounds of chickens are a nice morning wake up song and a good morning walk.  After the walk, I made my morning smoothie, but what I haven’t told you is that I have decided to remove all processed sugars from my diet.  So, that means no white or brown granulated sugars (sucrose), corn syrup, and pancake syrup (sad day on pancake day) and all sugar alcohols (sweeteners).

Examples of sugar alcohol are

  • Glycerol (also known as glycerin or glycerine),
  • Erythritol,
  • hydrogenated starch hydrolysates,
  • isomalt,
  • lactitol,
  • maltitol,
  • mannitol,
  • sorbitol,
  • xylitol.

Even though they are called sugar alcohols, they do not contain alcohol. So, I am replacing my sweet tooth with natural sweeteners.  Mainly honey!

You ask, “How do you do that”?  I’ll tell you what I’m learning.

How to Substitute Sweeteners

1.  Honey and maple syrup (not pancake syrup) are sweeter than sugar, so use less (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup) for each cup of sugar.

2.  When substituting a liquid for a granulated sweetener, for every 1 cup of honey, subtract 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe(that means also, for every 1/4 cup of honey, subtract 1 Tbsp of liquid).

3.  The converse is then, when substituting a granulated for a liquid sweetener for every 1 cup of sweetener, add 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe (that means also, for every 1/4 cup of honey, add 1 Tbsp of liquid).

4.  If baking with honey or maple syrup, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, since honey and maple syrup will tend to caramelize and burn faster than granulated sweeteners.

5.  Since honey and maple syrup are somewhat acidic, when baking, you will need to add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp baking soda per cup of honey or maple syrup to the batter so it will rise.

Tomorrow is our daughter, Hanna’s, birthday. And I wanted to make her favorite pie, so out to the garden I go to pick Rhubarb. Here is my recipe for…

Strawberry Rhubarb Honey pie


2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp each cold butter, cut in small pieces, and trans-fat free shortening
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2-4 Tbsp cold water
1 1/4 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2
16 oz container of strawberries (hulled and halved)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c honey
1/4 c cornstarch
1 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp butter, cut in small pieces


1 Pastry: You can use a ready made 2 crust pie or follow recipe above. I Use the the Ready made, only because I’m the worse pie crust maker!

If you make your own chill the two balls of dough in refrigerator til firm enough to roll out.

Place a sheet of foil on rim edge baking sheet and put in lower rack of oven in case of spill-over.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9″ pie plate with nonstick spray.

Roll out first ball of dough to 12″ circle and fit in pie plate and up sides.

Roll out second ball to 11″ circle and cut in 1″ wide strips

2 Filling:

Toss rhubarb and strawberries with vanilla in large bowl.

Mix honey, cornstarch and ginger in a small bowl until blended, toss with berry mixture to evenly coat.

Spoon into pastry lined pie plate, dot with butter.

Arrange 5 dough strips across pie. Arrange remaining 5 strips at right angles, weaving. Press ends into edge, fold under and crimp. Brush strips with water.

3 Place pie on center oven rack, back 25 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees, rotate pie 180 degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes more (loosely shield pie with foil if crust gets too brown), until crust is golden and filling bubbles.

Cool on wire rack. Serve at room temperature.

Happy Eating!

It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey.
Deuteronomy 8:8