When it comes to all things pumpkin, I’m pretty opinionated. Very opinionated, actually. And if you try to put pumpkin in my latte, I will smile to be polite and then spit it back in the cup. I know that everyone with a pulse seems to be gaga over pumpkin spice lattes, but I think they’re gross. Also, please, please get the pumpkin out of my beer. Really.
But while there are plenty of places pumpkins don’t belong, there are also lots of places they do. Baked goods, for instance. Pumpkins and winter squash have been around forever, and if they tasted good in coffee or beer or potato chips, our ancestors would have totally done that. After all, they were swimming in the things all. winter. long. But our wise ancestors saw no need to add pumpkin to their Skittles because they already had such a good thing going on with pumpkin baked goods. If you like fall desserts that taste delicious, pies and bread are obvious choices. But don’t leave breakfast out. These pumpkin waffles are about to be your everything.
With pitch-perfect fall spice, fresh pumpkin puree, and a mix of whole wheat flour and corn meal, they’re every bit as wholesome and delicious as they sound. And with cinnamon-infused maple syrup and a side of sliced apples, you’ll have an autumnal breakfast to remember.
As far as pumpkin goes, it’s worth mentioning that if you’ve never had the fresh stuff, you’re really missing out. A fresh sugar pie pumpkin or any firm, flavorful winter squash like butternut, kabocha, or banana squash lend a delicate flavor, vivid color, and creamy texture to everything pumpkin.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles with Cinnamon Maple Syrup
Serves: 4 – 6
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: depends on the waffle maker, but about 20 minutes
For the fresh pureed pumpkin:
1 small sugar pie pumpkin, seeded and quartered
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rub the pumpkin slices with a small drizzle of olive oil. Set skin side down on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with a tiny pinch of sea salt, and cover tightly with foil. Roast pumpkin until very tender, roughly 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil cover and set aside to cool.
2. To puree, slice soft pumpkin away from the peel and set in a large bowl. I tend to mash the pumpkin with a fork, but if you prefer it extra smooth, use a food processor to puree.
For the waffles:
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
4 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup finely ground corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1/2 teaspoon for syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, spices, and sea salt.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the puree, egg yolks, butter, milk, and sugar.
3. In another bowl, use a whisk or beaters to whip the egg whites to soft peaks.
4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, and then fold in the egg whites.
5. Scoop batter into your waffle iron and cook according to waffle maker’s instructions. Mine makes 4-inch square waffles with about 1/4 cup batter per waffle.
6. Keep cooked waffles on a baking sheet in a 200 degree F oven.
7. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup maple syrup over low heat, and stir in 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Stir to combine. Keep warm until waffles are ready.
8. Serve waffles with butter, warm cinnamon syrup, and apple slices.More On