It’s finally starting to feel like fall is on its way. The temperature is still plenty warm down here in Texas, but I can tell the tide is starting to turn. It’s not quite so warm in the mornings and the sun is setting just a touch earlier. Plus, college football is back, which is a sure sign of fall in my book. It’s not exactly sweatshirt, blanket, and apple cider weather just yet, but I know we’ll get there soon.
In the meantime, I’m beginning to enjoy a few of my fall favorites. I’m not ready to pumpkin spice all the thingsI’m perfectly happy to give apples their rightful time in the autumn sun. One whiff of your local farmer’s market or grocery produce section is the most glorious reminder that it’s this time of year when apples are at their sweetest, most fragrant peak. As the name of my blog suggests, I really do eat an apple almost every single day. If I can count that apple in waffle form, I won’t argue.
These waffles are a touch on the labor intensive side, but they are well worth it. They’re crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, they way the best waffles should be. Grating the apple ensures its flavor is evenly distributed, so no bite is without its sweet taste. The spices are present without being overpowering, and the flax seeds and pecans, should you choose to use them, bring a nice nuttiness to round everything out. You could use just about any toppings you’d like to serve these–butter and syrup, apple butter, sweetened whipped cream jazzed up with a hint of cinnamon (and maybe bourbon), or my personal favorite, peanut butter, honey, and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. No matter how you finish them off, I guarantee you’ll love them.
These sweet, nutty waffles packed with apples and cinnamon are the perfect start to a crisp fall morning.
Spiced Apple Waffles
slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma
3 eggs, separated
3/4 c. buttermilk, warmed
3/4 c. milk, warmed
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 crisp apple (your choice), cored and grated
1 1/2 c. cake flour
2 TBSP ground flax seed (optional)
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon, plus extra for serving
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. toasted pecans, chopped (optional)
desired toppings such as peanut butter, apple butter, butter, syrup, honey, and or, sweetened whipped cream
1. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 200° F and Belgian waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, buttermilk, milk, and butter. Add grated apple and stir to combine.
3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, flax seed, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until mostly smooth (a few small lumps are fine).
4. Using a electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed about 1 minutes, until soft peaks form. Increase mixer speed to high and add sugar 1 TBSP at a time until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold half the egg whites into the batter, then repeat with the remaining half.
5. If using pecans, sprinkle about 2 TBSP onto the waffle maker. Pour about 2/3 c. batter onto the surface and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions until golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside, about 5 minutes. Transfer waffle to baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat process until all the batter is used.
6. Top as desired and serve hot.
Yield: 8 (6-in.) round Belgian waffles or 4 large square Belgian waffles (made in a four-square waffle iron)