Pecan waffles with maple, pear and blackberry sauce

    35 min

    Crisp, crunchy waffles, so popular in France, Belgium and North America, are a lovely treat for breakfast or brunch. To make these, you will need a waffle iron that can be used on the hob or an electric waffle maker.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 125 g (4½ oz) plain flour
    • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tbsp caster sugar
    • 1 large egg, separated
    • 200 ml (7 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
    • 15 g (½ oz) butter, melted
    • 15 g (½ oz) pecan nuts, finely chopped
    • Maple, pear and blackberry sauce
    • 1 large, ripe dessert pear
    • 4 tbsp maple syrup
    • 50 g (1¾ oz) pecan nut halves
    • 100 g (3½ oz) blackberries

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:35min 

    1. First make the maple and fruit sauce. Cut the pear lengthways into quarters and cut out the core, then cut the pear into fine dice. Put into a small heavy saucepan and add the maple syrup. Warm gently, then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the pecan nut halves and the blackberries. Set aside while making the waffles.
    2. Heat and lightly grease the waffle iron or maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
    3. Meanwhile, make the waffle batter. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and sugar into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, and add the egg yolk and milk to the well. Gently whisk the egg yolk and milk together, then gradually whisk in the flour to make a thick, smooth batter. Whisk in the melted butter, then stir in the finely chopped pecans.
    4. Whisk the egg white in a separate bowl until stiff. Pile it on top of the batter and, using a large metal spoon, fold it in gently.
    5. Spoon a small ladleful (3–4 tbsp) of batter into the centre of the hot waffle iron or maker, then close the lid tightly. If using a waffle iron on top of the hob, cook for about 30 seconds, then turn the waffle iron over and cook for another 30 seconds. Open the waffle iron: the waffle should be golden brown on both sides and should come away easily from the iron. (If using an electric waffle maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions – usually allow 2–3 minutes for each waffle.)
    6. Lift the cooked waffle from the iron using a round-bladed knife, and keep warm while cooking the rest of the waffles.
    7. Just before all the waffles are ready, gently warm the fruit sauce, then pour into a sauceboat or serving bowl. Serve with the warm waffles.

    Plus points

    Pears are a good source of soluble fibre in the form of pectin. Soluble fibre can help to lower blood cholesterol levels. * Maple syrup, extracted from the sap of the maple tree, is a delicious sweetener. It contains useful amounts of zinc.

    Some more ideas

    To keep the waffles warm, spread them in a single layer on a rack in a very low oven. * Use walnuts instead of pecans, and either maple syrup or clear honey in the sauce. * For savoury Parmesan waffles, to serve as a hearty brunch dish, omit the cinnamon, sugar and pecans from the batter. Instead, sift the flour with a good pinch each of black pepper and cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. Add 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese before folding in the egg white. Instead of serving with the maple and fruit sauce, top each serving of waffles with a poached egg and scatter over some snipped fresh chives.

    Each serving provides

    copper, zinc * A, B1, B2, B12, E, niacin, calcium, iron, potassium

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