October 25, 2013

Buckwheat Waffles with Vanilla Pears

We’ve just come back from France were we celebrated my brother’s 30th birthday and our first wedding anniversary, and spent a wonderful romantic day in Paris.

I seized the opportunity of staying at my parents to make waffles as an afternoon treat. The waffle iron was given to me by my grand-mother, but it lives in my parents’ home, so I only rarely get to use it.

Waffles always bring me back memories of days gone;

The first memories are of times spent at my grand-parents. They owned a house in a very rural area in the centre of France, where along with my brothers and cousins, we used to spend all of our school holidays as children. My grand-mother at the time always seemed to spend a lot of time in the kitchen – she had a hungry crowd to feed, and we all remember the delicious meals she used to prepare for us, such as pizzas or crêpes to name just a few. Sometimes we begged for waffles and she would make lots and lots of them that we would have for our ‘goûter’, the afternoon snack.

The second memories coming to mind are of my student years. I was lucky enough to live in the French Alps, and as soon as snow was falling, my friends and I would head to the mountains at the weekend for skiing. After a whole day spent on our skis, my friend Julie and I would always have a treat: usually a hot chocolate along with a crêpe or a waffle. I would go for the waffles with blueberry jam, while my friend would go for Nutella.

These are fond memories that I had in my heart while making waffles the other day, and creating new memories with my family at the same time.

Buckwheat Waffles with Vanilla Pears – makes 8 waffles
If time allows, prepare the batter early and leave it aside to rest for a couple of hours.

• 5 pears, peeled and cored
• 1tbsp muscovado sugar
• Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
• 150g buckwheat flour
• 100g wholewheat or spelt flour
• A pinch of salt
• 2tsp ground ginger
• 2 eggs
• 30g unsalted butter, melted
• 250ml milk of your choice
• 1tbsp maple syrup or honey
• 1tsp vanilla extract

1. Start by preparing the pears; put them in a large saucepan with the muscovado sugar, vanilla seeds and pod. Cover and simmer gently for 10-15min, stirring delicately every so often, until the pears are very soft and cooked through. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flours together with the salt and ground ginger.
3. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the melted butter, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix well.
5. Preheat the waffle iron, cover all the little squares with batter and cook according to the iron instructions. It took about 3min for mine to be ready. Repeat until you’ve used all the batter.
6. Serve the waffles with the pears and extra maple syrup if desired.

Gaufres au Sarrasin et Poires à la Vanille – pour 8 gaufres
Si vous avez le temps, préparez la pâte à l’avance et laissez la reposer quelques heures.

• 5 poires, pelées et évidées
• 1cs de sucre muscovado
• Graines d’une gousse de vanille
• 150g de farine de sarrasin
• 100g de farine de blé ou d’épeautre complète
• Une pincée de sel
• 2cc de gingembre en poudre
• 2 œufs
• 30g de beurre non salé
• 250ml de lait de votre choix
• 1cs de sirop d’érable ou de miel
• 1cc d’extrait de vanille

1. Préparer les poires ; les mettre dans une grande casserole avec le sucre muscovado, les graines et la gousse de vanille. Couvrir et laisser cuire à feu très doux pendant 10-15min, jusqu’à ce que les poires soient tendres et translucides. Mettre de côté.
2. Dans un grand bol ou saladier, mélanger les farines avec le sel et le gingembre en poudre.
3. Dans un autre bol, battre les œufs avec le beurre fondu, le lait, le sirop d’érable et l’extrait de vanille.
4. Ajouter ces ingrédients aux ingrédients secs et bien mélanger.
5. Préchauffer le gaufrier et y verser de la pâte uniformément. Faire cuire selon les instructions du gaufrier. Cela m’a pris environ 3min. Répéter jusqu’à épuisement de la pâte.
6. Servir les gaufres avec les poires et du sirop d’érable.

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