Our cheddar waffles with apple pear cognac compote are best eaten… any old time of day. Straddling breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, this is a waffle that properly yin and yangs savory with sweet, dinnerfast with linner and every combo in between.
We got the idea for this after hearing how great cheddar cheese is when baked into an apple pie crust. So why not combine cheddar with a waffle and top it with some delicious fruit pie-like filling?
One of its many marvels is that it’s a 100% maple syrup-less waffle. Don’t get us wrong, we love maple syrup on a waffle. But we’re doing something just as or more delightful.
Instead, filling those cavernous waffle grids is an invitingly warm apple-pear compote. This is further accented by the cheesy crisped edges of cheddar that adorn each wedge.
What goes into making Savory Cheddar Cheese Waffles?
First, some bad news. For this recipe you can’t just use any old cheddar. No — because you’ve got to use really old cheddar. It’s got to be sharp and aged so you can truly savor the flavor that comes with melting cheese in waffle batter.
Picking an aged cheddar for these waffles
Not since our poutine recipe have we indulged in so much cheese! But the cheese curds in poutine are literally baby cheddar. The freshest you can get.
For these waffles, we used a 1-year-aged cheddar (the cheapest we could find), which is probably still considered a baby in the cheddar world, but mature enough to be understood by sophisticated taste buds like yours and ours.
The rule of thumb here is the older the better. We’re talking 5 to 10 years old and higher for maximum cheesy satisfaction.
If you can, it’s well worth it to spend that few extra dollars to upgrade to an older block of cheese, or you might not taste it nearly as much. Then what would be the point?
Grate your own cheddar cheese
Maybe you’ve already heard, but there are some real advantages to freshly grating your own cheese that you don’t get with those convenient pre-shredded bags at the store including:
- No potato starch: Pre-shredded cheese at the store is coated with potato starch to keep it from clumping together. This can dull the flavor.
- Melts smoother: Because the cheese doesn’t contain those additives, it will melt better, and you’ll have a better distribution of cheese flavor in your cheddar waffles!
- Get more bang for your block: Buying a block of cheese is almost always cheaper than pre-shredded cheese. Save and savor, a win-win.
Taste test for salt with your test cheddar waffle
Depending on the salt content of your cheese, you may need more or less salt to get full flavor. We recommend using your first waffle you make as a taste test to add salt as needed to the rest of the batter.
Set your doneness setting to medium
The ideal cheddar waffle setting crisps the cheese to a lovely golden brown, but doesn’t burn it. This can happen fast, so begin at a medium setting if you have that option on your waffle maker. You can always let it go a bit longer if needed.
How to make Apple Pear Cognac Compote for Cheddar Belgian Waffles
Compote is very similar to fruit preserves. Both involve larger pieces of fruit or sometimes the whole fruit as in the case of cherries cooked in a syrup.
The main difference between compote and preserves is that while preserves are meant to be preserved, compote is usually made and eaten immediately.
Good news — a compote can be made in about 15 minutes and used as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, pancakes or in our case, waffles!
Process for making apple-pear-cognac compote
Don’t be intimidated by compote. We’re just cooking fruit in sugar and butter. Making it is quite simple; just follow these steps:
- Dice your apples and pears evenly
- Melt brown sugar and butter in a large skillet (at least 10-inch) to disolve the sugar
- Toss in your diced fruit and cook it down
- Mix a tablespoon each of cornstarch and cognac, pour into pan and stir to thicken
- Remove from the heat and let cool slightly to serve on top of your waffles.
What we used for this compote
- For the fruit we used Bartlett pears and Honeycrisp apples.
- Don’t use fruit that’s too ripe, or it will turn to mush.
- For the cognac we used Courvoisier. (Fun note: We only set foot in a liquor store if it’s for a cooking ingredient. Thank goodness for mini-bottles. We have a whole shelf of them. )
- We stepped up to a larger bottle for this recipe because we didn’t spot any miniatures.
Get creative with your compotes
The sky is the limit with fruit and liquor combinations. Here are some fun compote concoctions we found around the web:
- Bourbon Cherry Compote from Southern Kitchen
- Ginger Bourbon Peach Compote from Poetry and Pies
- Warm Mixed Berry Compote with Grand Marnier from The Cafe Sucre Farine
- Strawberry Compote with Champagne from A Crafty Spoonful
Check out our other breakfast waffle recipes:
- Maple Pecan Waffles With Easy To Make Cinnamon Crème Anglaise
- Blueberry Waffles made better with Meyer Lemon Curd Créme Anglaise
- The Fluffiest Gingerbread Waffles made better with Vanilla Créme Anglaise
We hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe. As always, comments are welcome and encouraged!Print
Savory Cheddar Waffles with sweet Apple-Pear Cognac Compote
This recipe is a delicious combination of savory and sweet with sharp cheddar cheese, scallions, and a sweet compote made of pears, apples and cognac.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Waffle Iron
- Cuisine: American
For the waffles:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups (about 5 oz) shredded aged cheddar cheese (1 year or older)
For the compote:
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large firm apple, peeled, cored and quartered and diced into small 1/4 inch pieces.
- 1 large firm pear, peeled, cored and quartered and diced into small 1/4 inch pieces.
- a pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 Tbsp cognac, such as Courvoisier
Make the waffles:
- Heat the oven to 250°F. Prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack on it. Place this in the middle rack of the oven. You will use this to keep the finished waffles warm.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- In another large bowl, whisk eggs gently, add milk, and slowly pour in the melted butter while whisking constantly. Whisk until evenly combined, and then stir in the shredded cheese.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir with a silicone spatula until flour is just incorporated. There may still be a few lumps in the batter.
- Heat the waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour enough batter to just cover the waffle grid. Close, and cook until golden brown, about two to three minutes.
- Transfer the finished waffles to the wire rack in the oven to keep warm. Garnish with scallions and a spoonful of compote. Serve immediately.
Make the compote:
- In a 10 inch skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.
- Add the apples, pears and salt. Stir to coat the mixture.
- Cook the mixture down for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until fruit is slightly softened.
- Dissolve the cornstarch into the cognac, and stir to make a slurry. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the fruit.
- Continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from the heat, and allow the compote to cool slightly before serving on top of your waffles.
*You can try this compote with different varieties of apples and pears to play around with the sweetness or tartness of the mixture. We used a Honeycrisp apple and a Bartlett pear in our compote.
Keywords: waffles, sharp cheddar, compote, pears, apples, cognac