When you feel like having breakfast for dessert, or the other way around, you’re in for a treat with our Spiced Maple Pecan Waffles.
But that’s not all. These made from scratch waffles are topped with a luxuriously sweet, and easy to make, Cinnamon Crème Anglaise sauce.
Pecan Waffles in the pandemic
This year, for the first time in Waffle House history, the venerable chain temporarily closed 365 of their restaurant locations, and patrons weren’t able to get their pecan waffle fix. They’re well known for their pecan waffles as well as staying open during emergencies as measured by the Waffle House Index.
Even IHOP is closing over 100 stores permanently due to the pandemic. If you can’t depend on these places staying open, what is one to do?
The tastier, easy make-at-home pecan waffle solution
Fortunately, our Spiced Maple Pecan Waffles topped with Cinnamon Crème Anglaise sauce are here to the rescue.
We’ve taken the typical pecans and spiced them up with maple syrup, cayenne and black pepper. In fact, they’re the same ones used in our Texas Whiskey Cake, and they work great here too.
Coincidentally, when we made the cream sauce for the Whiskey Cake, we inadvertently made a crème anglaise sauce. We just didn’t know it at the time.
What is crème anglaise?
It’s a custardy dessert sauce that’s French for English cream. It’s simply sugar, egg yolks, and heavy cream flavored with vanilla. It has a mild but rich flavor and excellently compliments waffles.
For this recipe, we’ve simply added a cinnamon stick and a bit of Saigon cinnamon.
How is crème anglaise different from a custard?
You may be thinking that this sounds very similar to making a custard, such as when you make an ice cream base.
The difference is that crème anglaise is meant to be poured, while custard is typically thickened with a starch (such as cornstarch). A custard could be used as a pastry filling (Crème pâtissière) or as a base for ice cream.
How to make Cinnamon Crème Anglaise
The mainstream way of making the sauce is somewhat complicated and involves tempering the eggs, without scrambling them, into the heated milk.
We’ve got a much simpler way that involves heating all the ingredients at the same time. The key is not exceeding the cooking temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit or you will get curdled scrambled eggs. You can, however, remedy this problem by straining the sauce.
The process is quite easy:
- Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and whisk to combine over medium heat, not exceeding 180° F.
- Keep stirring until thickened
- Strain into a bowl and chill for 3 hours
- Enjoy over a stack of scrumptious maple pecan waffles!
What do you put on your waffles?
The go-to condiment is almost always maple syrup. But waffles have all the hallmarks of dessert, so why not try something new and pair them with a dessert sauce?
Tips for making (pecan) waffles from scratch
A few years ago, we graduated from a standard square 2-waffle Westinghouse iron to a Cuisinart double waffle iron. While not absolutely necessary to enjoy great waffles, pecan or otherwise, it’s well worth the investment if you do this regularly.
Picking a good waffle iron
The Cuisinart model is a beast and is just like the kind you’d find at a hotel breakfast buffet, but made specifically for the home cook.
Why we like the Cuisinart Double Waffle Iron
- It makes two large round waffles simultaneously, so you’ll quickly have breakfast on the table in no time. Great for families who waffle together often, haha.
- It has 5 doneness settings, so you can go from light and fluffy all the way to dark and crispy. This gives you great control so your waffles are just the way you like them!
- It has 2 independent audible alarms that tell you when each waffle is finished.
- It comes with a handy cup measure so you never overfill the iron or waste your batter.
- It’s very sturdy and easy to clean up with its non-stick coating.
The first waffle is the worst waffle
To maintain the integrity of your waffle maker’s non-stick coating it’s always best to hit it with some non-stick spray before you start. Don’t skip this step.
However, we only do this for the first set of waffles on each batch.
Why? As is often the case with pancakes, the first waffles to come off the iron are a little less than ideal. These slightly irregular first attempts are however a great way to test your doneness setting.
We’ve found that the spray can inhibit even browning. There’s melted butter in the waffle batter, which is more than enough to coat and season your iron and give you nice browning for the rest of your batch.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe. As always, comments are welcome and encouraged!
Check out our other flavored waffle recipes:
- Blueberry Waffles with Lemon Curd Creme Anglaise
- Gingerbread Waffles with Vanilla Creme Anglaise
- Cheddar Waffles with Apple Pear Cognac Compote
Spiced Maple Pecan Waffles with Cinnamon Créme Anglaise
These fluffy waffles are filled with maple-glazed pecans spiced with black pepper, cayenne and of course, maple syrup. Then finished with a decadent cinnamon créme anglaise.
- Prep Time: (3 hours inactive)*
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 to 8 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Waffle iron
- Cuisine: American
For the Spiced Maple Pecans
- 1/2 lbs. raw pecan halves
- 1/3 c. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. water
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the Cinnamon Créme Anglaise
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1/4 tsp ground saigon cinnamon
For the Maple Pecan Waffles
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup of Spiced Maple Pecans, chopped. Reserve rest for garnish.
Make the pecans
- Heat oven to 350°. Mix water, maple syrup, salt and both peppers together in a small bowl. Place pecans in a medium sized bowl. Pour maple syrup mixture over pecans and mix until all are evenly coated.
- Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet covered with foil or lined with a silicone baking mat. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
- As soon as the pecans come out of the oven, scrape them off of the pan and break up pecan clumps to prevent them from sticking together. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight plastic container at room temperature until ready to use.
*Make the Cinnamon Créme Anglaise
- Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-low to medium heat (180 degrees if using induction).
- Whisk until combined.
- Using a silicone spatula, stir, scraping bottom of pan in a figure 8 motion.
- Keep stirring until the sauce thickens. Test it by coating the back of a spoon with the sauce and running your finger through it. If the path you ran your finger through remains and doesn’t fill back in, it’s done.
- Remove sauce from heat and immediately pour sauce through sieve into a heat proof bowl.
- Stir in 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Make the Waffles
- Preheat the waffle iron.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a second bowl, use a wooden spoon to beat the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and eggs have turned a pale yellow.
- Add vanilla, melted butter, and milk to the eggs, and whisk to combine.
- Combine the egg-milk mixture with the flour mixture, and whisk until just blended. Do not over mix.
- In a third bowl or a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 1 minute.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter. Do not over mix.
- Gently stir in the spiced pecans.
- Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, and pour enough batter in the iron to just cover the waffle grid.
- Close and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with additional spiced pecans and a drizzle of cinnamon créme anglaise.
- *Inactive prep time for créme anglaise and pecans is about 3 hours.
- For best results, make the créme anglaise the night before to allow time for the cinnamon flavor to totally infuse.
- If you make the pecans the night before, the waffles can be made in 25 minutes or so the following day.
Keywords: Waffles, creme anglaise, cinnamon, maple, spiced pecans