Maple Gluten Free Waffles with Spiced Caramelised Pears

I first made this waffle batter in the peak of summer, when I was craving their sweet fluffy goodness following a particularly disappointing brunch experience.

We had gone out with friends to eat at a great little cafe that always had amazing brunch options, and the options, as always, did not let us down.
One item in particular though, really caught my eye. Maple waffles… with maple butter and a cookie crumb, served with vanilla yoghurt and fresh strawberries. My mouth was absolutely watering, but alas the little beauties were not gluten free and I watched on with envious eyes as my friends ordered and devoured them.

Fast forward to that evening and I decided I needed to make them for myself. So I hit the internet to search for gluten free waffle batters, when I came across Bob’s Red Mill recipe for ‘Fluffy Gluten Free Waffles‘. I mixed up a batch, and I must say, they were absolutely delicious! If you have the time, you should really make these. The whipping of the egg whites, along with the baking powder and soda make for a really light and fluffy waffle.

So I decided to adapt the Bob’s Red Mill recipe and ‘maplefy’ it.
Now, I’m the first to admit that I can be a bit of lazy cook and love a short cut, especially when it comes to waffles. I mean there are some days that I have absolutely no time or patience for the whipping of egg whites and folding in of ingredients, I’m firmly in the group of ‘throw it all in a bowl together and give it a good mix’. Now, this might have been the issue with my first attempt, or perhaps I had the waffle iron on too high (I just needed them to cook quickly!), but I found that I needed to thin down the batter. Then, I decided I also needed to add the maple flavour to the batter to help amp it up (not just on the waffles in the form of maple butter)… A little extra milk here, a little more oil there, omit the sugar and add maple syrup, omit the salt and vanilla and add a good helping of maple extract and voila! After a few attempts and tweaks (and by a few, I mean at least 5 different batter attempts later), I had a pleasantly maple flavoured waffle batter that was light and fluffy, yet crunchy and delicious on the outside. Thanks Bob’s Red Mill for the inspiration!

Fast forward even further, and we are in the depth of winter and all I’m craving is the delicious crunch of a waffle, paired with some sweet fruity goodness.
Alas, strawberries are out of season, so I head to the fruit market to see what’s fresh… A delightful little mound of lightly golden Beurre Bosc Pears are gazing at me from the fruit shelves, giving me visions of tarte tatin and gooey caramel sauce. Perfect, I thought as I filled a bag with the golden beauties…

Long story short…. the Beurre Bosc Pears met the caramel sauce and a little spice, along with a fresh zing of lime (to cut through the cream and sugar). They then happy mingled with the maple waffles and healthy dose of honey yoghurt, creating a delightfully decadent mid winter treat!

Waffle Batter:

2 free range eggs
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1.5 cups plain gluten free flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp maple syrup (I like to use Escuminac Late Harvest Maple Syrup)
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 cup almond and coconut milk or lactose free milk
2 tsp maple extract

Spiced Caramelised Pears:
3 – 4 Beurre Bosc pears
1/3 cup brown sugar
100ml lactose free cream
1/2 tsp mixed spice
20g butter/Nuttelex
Zest 1/2 lime or lemon

Honey Greek Yoghurt:
1.5 cups Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup honey

Waffle Method:
1. Throw all of the waffle batter ingredients into a large bowl and whisk until a smooth batter has formed.
2. Cover batter and set aside, leaving it to rest for 30 minutes.
3. After 30 minutes, grease your waffle iron and heat until nice and hot.
4. Give the rested batter a quick mix, then using a small jug or measuring cup, pour mixture on to the heated waffle iron (amounts will vary depending on the size of the waffle iron), close and cook on each side for a couple of minutes (Cook times will also vary, depending on the waffle iron and the heat it conducts – mine took between 2 and 3 minutes each side, using a waffle iron that you place directly on the stove top).

Spiced Caramelised Pears Method:
1. In a sauce pan, add brown sugar, cream, mixed spice and butter. Gently heat until it starts to simmer and the brown sugar has melted. Cook gently for approximately 5 minutes.
2. While the sauce is cooking, slice each pear into 6 – 8 pieces and place in a fry pan. Turn onto a high heat and fry each side of the pear pieces until they start to soften, but are still firm enough to keep their shape. Once they have reached this point, add the pears to the spiced caramel sauce and zest 1/2 a lemon into the sauce. Toss the pears in the caramel sauce until completely coated.

Honey Greek Yoghurt:
1. Place Greek yoghurt and honey in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Sandwich two waffles together with a dollop of honey yoghurt and place on a plate. Top with an extra dollop of the honey yoghurt and arrange three pieces of pear on top of the yoghurt. Drizzle over a little extra of the spiced caramel sauce, and remember to breathe as you devour these tasty morsels!

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