Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pumpkin Waffles with Sour Cream and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Just because Thanksgiving has passed doesn't mean that pumpkin season is over, at least not in my book. I recently had some canned pumpkin leftover from making pumpkin scones and was considering how to use it up. It wasn't a large quantity, which worked out perfectly because these particular pumpkin waffles from Sarabeth's only require 1/3 cup, which is exactly what I had on hand.

I proudly own both of Sarabeth's cookbooks, and her most recent release Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook in particular features tons of great breakfast recipes. She has taken the recipe for her famous pumpkin muffins and transformed it to make ethereal, seasonal waffles that put other pumpkin waffles to shame.

The recipe is a tad unusual in that it begins almost like scones by actually cutting the butter into the dry ingredients, whereas most waffles recipes will use melted butter or oil for easy mixing.

Sarabeth uses a combination of whole milk and cream, which undoubtedly yields a rich texture, but I had a ton of leftover buttermilk hanging out in my fridge, so I substituted buttermilk for both the milk and cream. The result is a tangy, tender pumpkin waffle with a hint of aromatic spices.

A dollop of sour cream atop the waffles adds a bit more tang, while a drizzle of pure maple syrup offers a hint of sweetness. Raisins and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) round out the garnishes by adding some great texture to the soft and fluffy pale orange waffles.

Honestly, if I had to pick between waffles and pancakes I would pick waffles hands down. I really love the little pockets that waffles have for holding syrup and other toppings. I also find they tend to just taste better in many cases even if the batters are quite similar in nature. Or maybe it's really just the pockets perfect for holding maple syrup within the delicate crust :)

Regardless, these waffles are out of this world. They are super impressive and would be perfect for a holiday brunch, and yet they are incredibly easy to prepare. I have a Belgian-style waffle maker (bigger pockets for syrup!) that yields small rectangular waffles. You can also make this recipe with a large round waffle maker. I yielded 10 small waffles with this recipe--about 2 per serving is a good number in my opinion. You'd yield a few number of larger waffles if making round ones.

Pumpkin Waffles with Sour Cream and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 4 to 6 servings
(From Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook)

2 cups (284 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (65 grams) superfine sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1/2 cup (112 grams) whole milk (I substituted buttermilk for both the milk and heavy cream)
1/2 cup (116 grams) heavy cream (I substituted buttermilk for both the milk and heavy cream)
1/3 cup (93 grams) unsweetened solid-pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Clarified Butter or vegetable oil for the waffle iron
Warm pure maple syrup, for serving
Sour cream, at room temperature, for serving
Pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), toasted, for garnish
Raisins, for garnish

Heat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer's directions.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt to combine. Add the butter and pulse 15 to 20 times, until it is very finely chopped and the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and make a well in the center. (Alternatively, whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Toss in the butter to coat with the flour mixture, then cut it in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center.)

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, cream, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Pour into the well and fold with the whisk just until the batter is combined. Don't worry about lumps.

Lightly grease the waffle iron grids with clarified butter. Using a dry measuring cup or ice-cream scoop, place the correct amount of batter in the center of the iron's quadrants (see waffle iron manufacturer's directions). Close the lid and bake until the waffle is crisp and golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

Transfer the waffle to a warmed serving plate and serve immediately, with the warm syrup, sour cream, pumpkin seeds, and raisins on the side. Make and serve the remaining waffles.


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