Leftover Pumpkin Pie Waffles with Cranberry Mulled Wine Syrup
Thanksgiving leftover brunch. Because stuffing your face with turkey and fixin’s every night at dinner for a week just isn’t enough.
No, let’s keep this party going DAY. AND. NIGHT.
Making a big, luxurious sleep-in and eat-late brunch is one of my most favorite things to do, and what better way to wrap up the holiday weekend than a poorly-veiled attempt to eat pie for breakfast? This years Thanksgiving was just me, Jason and Gizmo, so we had tons of leftover everything to reinvent all week long.
I was most distressed about the special spicy sweet kabocha squash pie I made going to waste a whole pie between two people (including one who doesn’t like pie much clearly not me) is way too much to eat straight without sneaking secret shame pieces alone in the closet. Im not saying I can’t finish a whole pie myself before it goes bad, but friends, eating pie alone in a closet is no way to live. Or is it?
Regardless. This pie was like pumpkin pie plus, made with dense, sweet, earthy roasted kabocha squash puree, fresh and powdered ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and a smidge of (?!) smokey spicy chipotle powder. With such interesting ingredients, it was just enough of a tweak to re-pique my interest in the pumpkin pie genre. After several slices, it became clear I wouldn’t/shouldn’t be able to finish it off before it went bad so it was time to reinvent. With a filling only slightly thicker than traditional canned pumpkin, it made sense to use it as a substitute somewhere canned pumpkin is used.
And unto us, a pumpkin pie waffle was born.
Waffles are the perfect amount of time and effort to spend making brunch just enough of a task to make breakfast a bit special, but not so difficult that you have to endure hours of hangriness before picking up a fork. Any leftover traditional pumpkin or sweet potato pie should work for this recipe, which hints at its Thanksgiving roots without being aggressively pumpkin-y.
If you’d really like to embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving reinvention, take the extra step to make a drizzly cranberry syrup. A lonely leftover handful of cranberries and a mostly-empty pitcher of mulled wine (or cranberry or grape juice) give tart contrast to the warmly spiced waffles. Halfway to jellied cranberry sauce lies cranberry syrup essentially the same recipe, just cooked for less time, the cranberries burst and mingle with the leftover wine and sugar to make a quick and easy syrup in no time. Cold leftover cranberry sauce would also be great spooned over these warm, toasty waffles.
You can eat a salad tomorrow, don’t worry.
- Cornstarch is the key to a waffle with a super crispy exterior and fluffy interior!
- An reliable wafflemaker will make or break your brunch. I have this Waring Pro one which I swear by adjustable temperature, you can flip the waffle cradle (?) for even browning, and Ive never even had to butter or coat it the nonstick on it must be made of unicorn oil and magic. Sorry, its no longer available; however, looks like its cousin is for sale here.
- While I dont separate the eggs (beating the egg whites separately) in my favorite waffle recipe of all time, I did so for this one. The idea behind this mildly annoying extra step is to lighten and fluff up your batter to make an airy and tender waffle, and the thick, weighty pie filling in this recipe could use a little lift to keep the end result from being dense and heavy as well.
- Mix just until combined, using a folding technique or very light hand don’t beat the batter into submission.
- Let your waffle batter rest for at least 15-30 mins. This lets the flour get a chance to really meld with the liquid ingredients and relaxes any tight gluten that may have developed during the mixing process. To ensure you do this, wait to heat up your waffle iron until now so the batter has to rest while it heats up! I usually clean up my (perpetual) kitchen mess during this waiting period to pass the time.
To keep waffles crisp longer, place them individually on a baking rack don’t stack them, as steam will build up and soften your waffles!
- 3 Tbsps unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup leftover pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, or other squash pie filling (scoop out of crust - you want only the filling!)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Vegetable oil, cooking spray or melted butter to coat waffle iron
- Melt the butter so it can be cooling - you don't want to add really hot butter to the mix because it can start to cook the egg in the batter.
- Separate your eggs, putting the whites in a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment and the yolks in a separate bowl. Add the buttermilk and pie filling to the bowl with the yolks and whisk until no lumps of pie filling remain. Then add cooled melted butter and whisk until smooth.
- Add all your dry ingredients on a paper plate, then sprinkle them over the buttermilk mixture. Gently fold or stir until just barely combined - don't overmix or your waffles will be tough! Let the batter sit, then whisk the egg whites until they have soft peaks.
- Pour the whites into the batter, then gently fold until there are no more streaks.
- Let the batter sit for 15-30 mins. Heat up your waffle iron for at least 15 mins during this time. When the waffle iron is hot, brush with oil or melted butter if your waffle iron is known for sticking.
- Cook waffles according to your waffle iron's instructions.
- As waffles finish, place them on a baking rack until serving time.
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup mulled wine (grape juice or cranberry juice can substitute)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat.
- After cranberries burst and soften, around 5-8 minutes, continue simmering until the juices are slightly thickened (when you pick up a spoonful of the juices and pour, it should be slightly thick, but not jammy).
- If the sauce jells too much, just add a spoonful or two of water to the mixture to loosen again.