Pecan Waffles with Maple Pear Sauce
Sifting the dry ingredient and beating the egg whites before adding them to
the batter are the secrets to crisp, light waffles. If you’re a maple lover,
look at the darker Grade B syrup. It has a stronger maple flavor than the more
subtle Fancy Grade.
For the maple pear sauce:
4 firm yet ripe Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, halved, cored and cut into
slices 1/4 inch thick
Juice of 1 lemon
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
For the waffles:
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups milk
3 eggs, separated
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of cream of tartar
To make the sauce, place the pear slices in a bowl and toss with the lemon
juice. In a large, nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add
the pears and sauté gently just to coat with butter, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the
water, lemon zest and maple syrup, reduce the heat to low, and simmer just until
the pears are tender but still hold their shape, about 6 minutes. Using a
slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a bowl. Raise the heat to high and reduce
the cooking liquid to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the reduced
liquid over the pears; reserve the remaining syrup separately. Keep warm or
serve at room temperature.
Put the pecans in a small, dry fry pan over medium-low heat and toast, stirring
continuously, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from the fry pan and set aside.
Preheat a waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small
bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla.
In a third bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the egg whites and cream of
tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir the milk mixture into the dry
ingredients, beating until smooth, then stir in the pecans. Finally, gently fold
the egg whites into the batter, leaving tiny clouds of whites visible. The
batter will look sandy.
Ladle enough batter onto the waffle maker for 1 waffle and immediately close the
lid. Cook until all the steaming stops and the iron opens easily, or according
to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Using a fork, carefully loosen the waffle from the iron and keep warm until all
the waffles are cooked or serve immediately. Repeat with the remaining batter.
To serve, top the waffles with the pear sauce.
Pass the reserved syrup at the table.
Makes 6 to 8 waffles.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Brunch Entertaining, by Janeen