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Archive for the ‘Toppings’ Category

Pumpkin Waffles :: Syrup

I’m very particular about every element of anything I bake, and so often opt for the highest quality ingredients and pairings. For my French bread, I insist on using a specific $10 bag of flour. For my pizza, I’m happy only with finest “campagna” buffalo mozzarella. When it comes to syrup on my pumpkin waffles, and this will sound odd, I simply reach for Mrs. Butterworth’s. Here’s why I recommend such a lowly syrup . . .

Pumpkin waffles have many delicious, delicate flavors: pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. They’re all balanced against one another, with none meant to stand above the rest. If you use a syrup with a very defined flavor all its own, it will drown-out the primary notes in the waffle. Most pure maple syrups will totally overwhelm the waffle; save them for pancakes and regular waffles that need a flavor kick. And apple cider syrup, amazingly delicious and popular in other pumpkin waffle recipes, will nonetheless completely take over, as well. Mrs. Butterworth’s, while essentially just corn syrup, is so mild that it lets the waffle shine through. Other syrups, like Log Cabin, Hungry Jack and Aunt Jemima, though all mostly corn syrup have enough added ingredients to give them too much character, and I’d recommend avoiding them.

It’s all a matter of personal preference. Try a few out, but definitely consider Mrs. B.

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I’ve come across other pumpkin waffle recipes that have companion apple cider syrup recipes. That, of course, sounds amazing. But when I tried a common variation on them (cider, corn starch, sugar, lemon juice, butter), it came out extremely cloudy and brown . . . looking almost exactly like gravy. Not very appealing! Sure, apple cider itself is a bit cloudy and brown, but it’s the corn starch that makes it way too cloudy. Whether a little or a lot is used, it’s an unavoidable outcome, and I had certainly erred on the side of caution and used a recipe that specificed a limited amount.

I decided a better way to approach the syrup is simply to reduce the apple cider, as a means of thickening it. So I boiled 1 1/2 cups of it down to 1/2 cup and added about 2Tbs. of sugar.  A little thin, but delcious! The issue was that it was so delicious and flavorful that it completely overwhelmed the pumpkin waffle itself. Really though, even the aforementioned corn starch recipe was quite overwhelming to the waffle’s flavor.

So my next go at it is going to rejigger the recipe quite a bit more. I’m thinking of taking 3/4 cup of apple cider and 3/4 cup of apple juice (to cut the cider’s intensity), boiling them down to 1/2 cup, adding 1Tbs. of sugar (or maybe brown sugar), and then adding a little fruit pectin to firm it up.  It might still be a bit strong, so I might have to ultimately go for less-reduced juice and more pectin. I’ll post the results when they’re done next week.

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