Bookcover for the Fresh Honey Cookbook


Laurey Masterton

Storey Publishing
September 2013
$14.95/Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1612120515

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Laurey Masterton was a beekeeper, cafe owner, caterer, and chef/spokesperson for The National Honey Board.  She taught the benefits of using and eating local ingredients in her speaking engagements, cooking demonstrations, and classes.  She lived in Asheville, North Carolina, where she ran Laurey’s Café.

THE FRESH HONEY COOKBOOK includes 84 luscious recipes inspired by honey bees, the food they pollinate, and the wonderful range of honey they produce. Honeybees are responsible for a third of everything we eat. Without honeybees to pollinate many plants, we would live in a world without most fruits, many vegetables, most foods with pits, and most foods with seeds. Highlighting a different honey varietal each month (tupelo, orange blossom, acacia, avocado, raspberry, tulip poplar, sourwood, blueberry, cranberry, eucalyptus, chestnut, and sage), beekeeper and chef Laurey Masterton offers amazing dishes made from simple, fresh ingredients. You’ll love Avocado and Mango Salad, Candy Roaster Squash Soup, Pork Tenderloin with Orange Blossom Honey-Mustard, Turkey Roulade in Puffed Pastry with Cranberry Chutney, Wild Salmon with a Smoky Onion Crust, Sweet Potato Salad with Sourwood Honey, Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream, Elsie’s Cranberry Pie, and Coconut Macaroons with Dried Cherries.

THE FRESH HONEY COOKBOOK gives honey bees their due with informative sidebars about bees and beekeeping.  Readers will learn why bees make honey, how it’s harvested, and what they can do to help the bee population.  This is an appreciation of both bees and the honey they produce, making it the perfect gift for cooks, beekeepers, or anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of eating honey.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp with a Fresh Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Serves 6

When you find fresh shrimp, try this preparation and gather the neighbors for a light summer meal. The sauce is also a fine accompaniment to grilled chicken, scallops, or a fresh fish fillet. Best of all, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time if you like.

For the marinated shrimp
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
36 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 (6-inch) wooden skewers

For the tomato sauce
3 pounds assorted large heirloom tomatoes
1 small sweet onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey, preferably sourwood honey
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade is the formal name for this cut), plus more for garnish

To marinate the shrimp, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and garlic in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add the shrimp and allow to sit, covered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.

Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from burning.

To make the tomato sauce, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place one or two tomatoes at a time into the boiling water. Watch them and, as you see the skin split, remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cool water. At this point, it will be very easy to slip off the skins.

Cut the peeled tomatoes into a small dice. Put the cut tomatoes into a large bowl. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and honey. Stir gently to combine.

Skewer the shrimp, 3 per skewer. Grill the skewered shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until they are pink. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and a couple of grinds of fresh pepper.

Just before serving, add the basil leaves to the tomato sauce. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Ladle the tomato sauce onto a serving platter and arrange the skewers on top of the sauce. Garnish with more basil leaves and enjoy!


Sautéed Fruit Compote with Brandy

Serves 20 or more

My mother served a fruit compote in wine every night during the summer at Blueberry Hill. As I was looking at her recipe, I was surprised to see that it included only canned fruit. She wrote her books in the early 1960s. My, how things change! If she were still around, she would be searching out the freshest local fruits. My recipe was inspired by the memory of those compotes and also influenced by apothecary jars filled with brandied fruits I have seen and tasted. When the fruit is fresh, buy it and follow this simple method for a spectacularly simple dessert in the months to follow. Of course, I recommend using fruits that need honeybees.

1/2 pound blackberries
1/2 pound blueberries
1/2 pound cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/2 pound fresh figs, cut in half or, if small, left whole
1/2 pound peaches, pitted and sliced
1/2 pound plums, pitted and sliced
1–2 cups honey, preferably blueberry honey (amount will vary depending on tartness of the fruit)
3–4 cups good-quality brandy (or more, depending on the size and shape of your jar)
Vanilla ice cream for serving

Combine the blackberries, blueberries, cherries, figs, peaches, plums, and honey in a large bowl. Stir gently to combine without damaging the fruit.

Gently spoon the fruit into a 1-gallon jar with a lid or an apothecary jar with a lid. Add enough of the brandy to cover the fruit.

Allow to sit in the back of your refrigerator or in a cool place for at least 1 month, though no one is going to fault you for dipping in earlier than that. You can also add more fruit over time; just make sure it is covered with more brandy.

If you like, quickly flambé before serving for a showy finish. To flambé, warm the fruit and its liquid in a saucepan over medium-high heat. If you’re not serving it soon after making it, you may need to add some fresh brandy to get a good flame. Bring to a simmer. Lift out a spoonful of some of the liquid and, working over the saucepan, carefully light it with a match. Put the flaming liquid back into the saucepan. Along with adding a dramatic flourish to your meal, this will burn off some of the alcohol in the liquid. Make sure to gather your guests around before the show!

To serve, spoon over vanilla ice cream.


These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton. (Storey Publishing; August 2013; $14.95/Trade Paperback; ISBN-13; 978-1612120515).

Contact: Alee Moncy