Saturday, January 11, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Meyer Lemon Belgium Waffles

Today's guest blogger is a little dynamo and packs a wallop when it comes to community service. I first got to know Kathryn when we started working together on an AFBA Philanthropy event. She was a bucket of information when it came to client sponsorship and her help was invaluable as, along with my other committee volunteers, we were able to pull off a very successful event. It should be no surprise, however, as that expertise and sense of community service is also what has helped her as the co-founder and organizer behind the successful Austin Bakes bake sales - something I learned about first-hand working with her on the recent Austin Bakes for Austin event. She is also the current president of the AFBA and she works full time for Greenling. How she manages all of that and still writes the fabulous blog The Austin Gastronomist is beyond me, but she does, and she was so gracious to write this guest post for me. She did not even hesitate when I asked. As busy as she is, she still manages it all with grace and pure dedication and still finds time to cook, photograph and blog her favorite recipes. Her recipe below for Belgium Waffles just begs you take a weekend morning and turn it into a time to relax and enjoy the quiet around you.  I hope you enjoy her fresh twist on Belgium Waffles.

One of the best decisions I made last year was to give my boyfriend, David, a waffle iron for Christmas. The guy is an engineer and a natural born tinkerer, and the waffle iron has become his latest object of focus. Together since Christmas Day he and I have tried about a dozen waffle recipes, looking for the fluffiest batter, the crispiest edges, and the most buttery flavor. It's been a delicious experiment, to say the least. 

When my friend Kristina gifted us with a bunch of lemons from her renowned backyard tree, I immediately thought of our waffle experiment. The Meyers' sunny color makes them perfect for breakfast time. And the more I thought about it, the more I craved their sweet, tart flavor to helps balance the buttery richness of many waffle recipes we had tried. We used several waffle recipes as the inspiration for our own, including The Minimalist Baker's Lemon Blueberry Waffles, this basic waffle recipe from AllRecipes, and Cuisinart's recipe for Lemon Waffles, which came with our new waffle iron. 

To make the most of Kristina's gorgeous Meyer lemons, David and I included the zest and the juice in our waffle recipe. We preferred waffles without blueberries (too messy) and those with richness from butter instead of oil. Buttermilk made the batter too tart, so our recipe calls for plain milk. We also found that a little extra sugar helps complement the Meyers' sweetness, so we use a quarter cup of granulated sugar in the batter, and garnish with powdered sugar at the end. Of all the toppings we tried -- maple syrup, lemon syrup, blueberry compote-- I liked plain whipped cream the best.  I hope you enjoy these sunny lemon waffles as much as we do!

Meyer Lemon Waffles (yields 4 Belgian waffles)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice from 2 Meyer lemons, about 1/4 cup
Zest from 2 Meyer lemons, about 1 tablespoon
powdered sugar
whipped cream

Place a wire rack on a baking sheet, and preheat oven to 200° F. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour liquid ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture, and whisk together until just combined. Prepare waffles according to your waffle iron's instructions. (We use a scant cup of batter per waffle in our Belgian waffle maker, cooking 7-8 minutes until crispy at the edges.) Place cooked waffles on the prepared baking sheet in the warm oven until all waffles are finished. Plate each waffle and garnish with powdered sugar and whipped cream.

Kathryn Hutchinson

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