Buttermilk Waffles with Caramelized Cardamom Peaches

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  5 servings (10 waffles total)
Prep Time:  40 minutes Cook Time:  45 minutes

Buttermilk Waffles with Caramelized Cardamom Peaches

Waffles topped with fruit make a delicious brunch (or breakfast for dinner, if you are so inclined). When the fruit is roasted peaches, and the peaches are spiced with cardamom and brown sugar, the result is sublime. Put the peaches in the oven to roast and then make the waffles during the roasting time, and you’ll have a special meal in less than an hour.

Ingredients

Roasted Peaches:

6 large ripe but firm peaches (about 2¼ to 2½ pounds), pitted, peeled, and roughly cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup light brown sugar

4 tablespoons (¼ cup/½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Waffles:

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 large eggs, separated (see Kitchen Tip)

1½ cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons (¼ cup/½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste 

2 or 3 scrapes fresh nutmeg

¾ cup maple syrup, grade B preferred (see Kitchen Tip), for serving

Instructions

  1. Roast the peaches: Preheat the oven to 385°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick  vegetable oil spray and line it with parchment paper or a Silpat. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the peaches, sugar, melted butter, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt and toss very gently just to coat. Scoop the mixture onto the prepared pan in a single layer, without mashing or pressing. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the peaches are browned, caramelized and dried out a bit.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the peach chunks into a medium-sized mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, make the  waffles: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla until well combined. Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to just combine, being careful not to overmix; there should be a few small lumps of flour in the batter.
  5. Preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. In a perfectly clean stainless steel mixing bowl (or copper, if you are lucky enough to have one!) beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (see Kitchen Tip). Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined.
  7. Spoon or pour the batter into the waffle iron and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually for 2 to 3 minutes. (You will need ½  to ⅔  cup of batter per waffle for a Belgian or big waffle maker, but the size can vary quite a bit. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for guidelines.)
  8. Serve the waffles: Top the waffles with the warm roasted peaches and maple syrup and serve immediately.

Kitchen Tips

  1. You can easily substitute any stone fruit—such as nectarines, plums, pluots, cherries, or apricots (my fave)—for the peaches.
  2. When separating multiple eggs, crack each one into a small bowl before adding it to the big bowl, that way if the yolk separates and falls into the white, you only ruined one egg, not the entire batch.  Also, separating is easier when the eggs are cold, so do this before bringing the eggs up to room temperature.
  3. When beating egg whites, an impeccably clean bowl is a must; even a bit of grease can keep them from firming up to form soft or stiff peaks. Egg whites at the soft peak stage will be glossy and foamy, retain their basic shape but will droop a bit, and won’t entirely cling to the bowl.
  4. To keep the waffles warm when making a big batch, place a baking rack on a baking sheet and arrange the cooked waffles in a single layer on top. Place in a 200°F oven to keep warm.
  5. To save for another day, wrap the waffles tightly in plastic wrap and store in resealable bags for up to 2 months in the freezer. Reheat the frozen waffles in oven or toaster oven.

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