Friday, May 11

Butternut Cranberry Waffles with Cranberry Maple Syrup

Last fall, I was asked by Savour Muskoka (an organization promoting food producers and artisans in the area) to contribute a recipe to be included in a calendar. The recipe was to highlight locally-grown products and ideally it would be suitable for making throughout the year and not just during the short growing season.

Butternut squash, cranberries and maple syrup are all produced in Muskoka and they all have longevity beyond their harvest time. And they all taste absolutely delicious when combined in these hearty waffles!

Savour Muskoka hit some snags and never did print those calendars, but this is a recipe worth sharing at any time of year.

Butternut Cranberry Waffles

We love butternut squash for the sweet, mild, nutty taste but any winter squash (or canned pumpkin) can be substituted.

Winter squash—such as butternut, hubbard, and kabocha—are harvested in the fall before the first hard frost. They can be stored in a cold cellar or other cool, dry place for many months and the prepared puree can be frozen in pre-measured portions for easy convenience. Fresh cranberries freeze beautifully (do nothing to them but toss them in a ziptop freezer bag). This allows us to enjoy our local produce long after the growing season has ended.

Makes 4 servings
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 14 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree* 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil 
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or plain milk soured with a splash of lemon juice) 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the butternut squash puree, eggs, oil, maple syrup, buttermilk and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Don't over mix (a few lumps are okay). Let the batter rest for 20 minutes.

While the batter is resting, soak the dried cranberries in hot water for 10 minutes to plump up. Drain in a mesh sieve. Stir the drained cranberries into the batter.

Cook the waffles in a preheated, greased waffled iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

Serve waffles hot, topped with Cranberry Maple Syrup, toasted pecans and a dusting of icing sugar. Enjoy!

* To make butternut squash puree: Carefully cut squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out and discard seeds and strings (or bake seeds until toasted and eat as a snack!). Place squash halves cut side down in a baking dish. Add 1/2" water to the dish. Bake in a hot oven until tender throughout, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Peel away and discard skin. Mash squash in a bowl with a potato masher (or whiz in a food processor) until smooth and lump-free. Butternut puree can be used in the waffle recipe above, added to soup, mashed with yellow or sweet potatoes, or baked in a casserole. Unused puree can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months.

Cranberry Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen 
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup 
In a sauce pan over medium high heat, bring cranberries and maple syrup to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries start to burst. Serve warm.

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