Adding crisp, sweet apples, applesauce, and cinnamon pumps up the flavor of regular old buttermilk waffles. Grating the apples is a good way to add some texture without leaving big chunks of raw apple in the batter. Serve these waffles for a cozy fall breakfast or Christmas brunch with a pat of molasses-clove, vanilla-orange, or honey butter on top. Freeze any leftovers between sheets of parchment paper inside a resealable plastic bag, and toast one whenever you need a quick weekday breakfast.
Special equipment: You’ll need a pastry brush and a Belgian waffle iron for this recipe.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 medium, sweet apples, such as Rome or Pink Lady
- Vegetable oil, for brushing the waffle iron
- Maple syrup, for serving
1Heat the oven to 250°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and place it in the oven.
2Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
3Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until they’re just broken up. Add the buttermilk, applesauce, brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla and whisk until evenly combined; set aside. Grate the apples on the large holes of a box grater and set aside.
4Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until the flour is just incorporated and no streaks remain. (The batter may have a few lumps.) Using your hands, gently squeeze the excess moisture out of the grated apples. Fold them into the batter until just evenly combined.
5Heat the waffle iron to medium according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the iron is heated, brush it with vegetable oil, fill it with batter, close the lid, and cook until the waffle is golden brown (when the steam starts to diminish from the iron, you can open the top and peek for doneness). Transfer the waffle to the wire rack on the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the iron with oil as needed. Serve with maple syrup.
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