Mother’s Pecan Waffles with Orange Syrup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    12 to 14

    waffles

Appears in

Predictably, it was the ever-curious Thomas Jefferson who returned from France to Virginia with the first long-handled, patterned waffle iron at the end of the eighteenth century, inspiring a culinary tradition that is as popular today in the South as it was two centuries ago. I’ve heard about but have yet to taste a Baltimore Sunday specialty called kidney stew on waffles, but I have eaten gritty rice waffles in Georgetown, South Carolina, and cornmeal waffles (or “Virginia waffles”) with sorghum in Roanoke, Virginia. As for standard breakfast waffles, none can hold a candle to these pecan-studded wonders with a tangy orange syrup that my mother created years ago and still serves at weekend brunches. Remember never to cover cooked waffles while keeping them warm in the oven; it makes them soggy.

Ingredients

For the Batter

  • 2 large eggs
  • cups half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans

For the Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • Grated zest of 1 orange

Method

To make the batter, combine the eggs, half-and-half, and melted butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer till smooth. Into a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, add this to the egg mixture, and beat at medium speed till well blended. Add the pecans, beat till well blended and smooth, and set aside.

To make the syrup, combine the sugar, orange juice, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over moderate heat, and stir till the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture syrupy. Remove the pan from the heat, add the orange zest, stir till well blended, and keep warm.

To make each waffle, ladle a small mound of the batter onto the middle of a greased electric waffle iron set at high heat (the amount of batter depends on the size of the iron) and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions till golden brown. Stack the waffles on a plate and keep warm till ready to serve with the syrup.