Herbed Sweet Corn Waffles with Apple Jalapeño Syrup

Adapted from: Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3 to 4 servings (6 or 7 standard waffles)

Topping these waffles with herb butter-infused corn is really fun! The kernels fall perfectly into the hollows.

There are several criteria for good waffles. They must be light and crisp but also moist and almost creamy in the center. They need to rise just enough, but not so much that the batter fails to cook through. And ideally, they should also be substantial enough to keep you from feeling light-headed two hours later. This recipe covers all the bases.

  • If you're making this in mid- to late summerÑor in early fallÑshave fresh sweet corn directly from the cob. If corn is not in season, use frozen corn. To defrost, place it in a strainer and run it under room-temperature tap water. Drain and dry it thoroughly before adding to the batter.
  • To keep the waffles warm, transfer them to a rack on a baking tray, and place the tray in a 200­F oven until serving time. The rack keeps them crisp.
1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 3 cobs)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons water
3 large eggs
Nonstick spray and butter for the waffle iron
Apple-Jalape–o Syrup (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat the waffle iron.
  2. Combine the corn and herbs in a bowl. Add the melted butter, mix gently and set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl and mix well.
  4. Measure the buttermilk and then the water into a 4-cup liquid measure. Add the eggs and beat gently with a fork or a small whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture, along with 1 1/2 cups of the corn-butter-herb mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly blended, scraping from the bottom and sides of the bowl. Don't overmixÑa few lumps are okay. NOTE: Reserve the rest of the corn-butter-herb mixture for sprinkling on top of the cooked waffles.
  5. Lightly spray the hot waffle iron on both the top and bottom surfaces with nonstick spray, then rub on a little butter. (This is most easily accomplished by generously buttering a chunk of bread and using it as a nifty, edible utensil to butter the waffle iron.) Add enough batter to just cover the cooking surfaceÑapproximately 1/2 cup.
  6. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on your waffle iron. Don't overbakeÑyou want it crisp and brown but not too dark. It's okay to peek.
  7. Serve hot, topped with a drizzle of Apple-Jalape–o Syrup and a sprinkling of the reserved corn-butter-herb mixture.

Yield: About 1/3 cup
One 12-ounce apple juice concentrate, defrosted
One 2-inch jalapeño chile, sliced in half
  1. Place the apple juice concentrate and the chile in a shallow saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes Ñpossibly longerÑuntil it is reduced by slightly more than half.
  2. Remove from heat, and let it cool to room temperature. Remove the chile before serving.
  3. To store, refrigerate the syrup in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. It will keep for about 2 weeks.
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