Cloister Honey is a small, artisanal honey company owned and run by a friendly couple, Joanne Young and Randall York, hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina. This business started this out of a beekeeping hobby three years ago when Joanne bought for Randall as a Christmas present. Now, they own thirteen hives and place them in three locations within the Charlotte area, depending upon the foliage growing.
What got my attention about their honeys were the fact that I didn’t know honey was produced at North Carolina. Sure, I know there’s honey produced down in the South but usually around Georgia and Florida where the highly sought Tupelo honey are produced.
Since I’ve been on a honey kick, here’s what I’ve used with these honeys so far:
Of course, there’s the typical serving of honey with teas and cheese with their excellent Sourwood honey. It’s rich, floral yet has a slight sour flavor. It surely made me had a blissful moment when I tasted it alone. This particular honey is their signature, so to speak, as this particular type of tree is mostly grown in their own neck of the woods (pun intended).
Beyond their traditional honeys, Joanne started to play around their honeys by creating whipped honeys (their cinnamon is amazing with pancakes or French toast; whipped chocolate is what I’d eat straight out of the jar with a spoon; and I can’t wait until autumn kicks in so I can bake with their pumpkin spice honey! – I’m thinking pumpkin spice scones or bread); and more recently, infusing honey with spices.
I’ve become obsessed with creating sweet-savory dishes that I used their Arbol Chili infused honey by searing my pork tenderloin with this honey and roast it. It worked wonderfully. The subtle spiciness of the honey worked with the pork and because of the honey’s natural sugars, it caramelized the pork subtly emphasizing its sweetness (recipe at the end of the post). (When I tasted this particular honey solo, it’s quite a kicker yet I can still taste the delicate floral flavor of honey.)
Their honeys are currently sold at Dean & Deluca in SoHo (if you’re within the NYC area).
Arbol Chili Honey Glazed Roast Pork
1/2 cup chili infused honey (I used Cloister Honey)
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 boneless pork loin roast, preferably blade-end, (about 2 1/2 pounds), tied at even intervals along length with 5 pieces butcher’s twine
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
An ovenproof skillet
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Stir maple syrup and minced rosemary together in
measuring cup or small bowl; set aside. Pat roast dry with paper towels, then sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed ovenproof 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke, about 3 minutes. Place roast fat-side down in skillet and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, rotate roast one-quarter turn and cook until well browned, about 2 1/2 minutes; repeat until roast is well browned on all sides. Transfer roast to large plate. Reduce heat to medium and pour off fat from skillet; add the honey mixture and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds (honey will bubble immediately). Off heat, return roast to skillet; using tongs, roll to coat roast with glaze on all sides. Place skillet in oven and roast until center of roast registers about 135 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 35 to 45 minutes, using tongs to roll and spin roast to coat with glaze twice during roasting time. Transfer roast to carving board; set skillet aside to cool slightly to thicken glaze, about 5 minutes. Pour glaze over roast and let rest 15 minutes longer (center of loin should register about 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer). Snip twine off roast, cut into 1/4-inch slices, and serve immediately.
To see more photos of Cloister Honey and my uses with them, please view my slideshow below: