Yellow Belly Honey

Honey, I'm Home

I have a sinking feeling the world with end, not with a whimper, as T.S. Eliot says, but with a silence. Because all the bees will be gone, and we'll be desperately trying to hand-pollinate things or to train bats to do more of it. Or else we'll have to rely on killer bees to do it, which is a deal with the devil, for obvious reasons.

But for this season, at least, we still have bees. We still have easy pollination. We still have honey.

Yellow Belly Honey of Rainier, Washington!

Let's all of us keep those beekeepers happy and going strong. Because I tried to keep a batch of Mason bees going one winter and failed through utter laziness. So I'll have to do my part by eating and promoting honey.

Last Saturday I found Clover and Blackberry honey varieties, and though the plastic honey bears were adorable,

Look at this little army!

I opted for a 12-oz glass jar so I could microwave it when needed and recycle the jar. Yellow Belly Honey also sold lip balm and even big jars of bee pollen for the homeopathically-minded allergy sufferers.

Jars o' pollen

While honey in our house is usually reserved for tea and granola-making, I couldn't resist making this cake because of all the gorgeous apples in season.

Honey-Apple Cake

You start with premium Market ingredients:

Do a little slicing and simmering:

Mix up a quick batter and bake. Couldn't be easier. Or tastier. Warning: it's impossible to eat just one slice. Every last person in our house had two slices and still wished for another. Therefore, make this at your own risk.

Honeyed Apple Torte (adapted from Cooking Light)
1/3 cup honey*
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2-3 apples of your choice*, peeled, cut in thickish slices
2/3 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs*

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp granulated sugar or demerara sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine honey and lemon juice in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add apples and cook 14 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Cream sugars, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add gradually to butter mixture on low speed.

Spread batter in a buttered 9-inch springform pan. Drain apples and arrange in a spoke batter atop the batter. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over.

Bake one hour and cool on rack.