These Crispy Vanilla Bean Waffles with Cherry Compote will have you hopping on the waffle train in no time!
There is an ongoing debate in our house over which is better: waffles or French toast. My husband is on team French toast. While I respect his taste and I do enjoy a good plate of French toast, he is clearly wrong in this matter. How can French toast compete with the puffy, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside texture of waffles? And no matter how hard it tries, French toast can never replicate the square pockets of a waffle, which are perfect homes for pools of melted butter and syrup.
Waffles > French toast. Who’s with me?
These Vanilla Bean Waffles with Cherry Compote are my attempt to convert the Mr. to
my the right side. Hey, I turned him into a Buckeye fan, this should be easy, right?
The struggle with waffles is getting that perfect balance between crispy and soft. Nobody wants a soggy waffle, but a brick isn’t exactly what folks have in mind either. I’ve always struggled with that balance when making waffles at home, but this recipe has finally nailed it down for me. Here’s what makes these special.
1. Cornstarch- Okay, to be honest I’m not exactly sure what this does, but I think it gives the waffle lift and also helps keep it from getting soggy. All I know is, after testing a recipe with cornstarch, I’m not going back.
2. Buttermilk- Nothing compares to the flavor of buttermilk in a waffle.
3. Turning my waffle iron onto the highest setting AND keeping finished waffles warm in a 250 degree oven. Every waffle iron is different, so you’ll have to experiment yourself with this, but I found I actually have to turn mine ALL the way up if I want the waffle to crisp up. That’s the first step, but the next step is just as crucial. Once the waffles are cooked, place them directly on an oven rack preheated to 200 degrees. This will not only keep the waffles warm, but also serve to continue to crisp the edges a bit. Perfection.
If you really want to splurge, as I apparently did with this recipe, scrape a fresh vanilla bean into your waffle batter. It’s not necessary, but oh boy, is it ever good.
I topped these beauties with a simple maple cherry compote. It’s tangy, sweet, summery fare. No extra syrup needed (but don’t let that stop you!).
Give these a try and see if you don’t find yourself on Team Waffle after all.
Vanilla Bean Waffles with Cherry Compote
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped out
For the compote
- 2 lbs. sweet cherries, pitted
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Pinch salt
For the waffles:
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir in the buttermilk oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and vanilla bean scrapings until combined. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
- Preheat your waffle iron. I find for crispy waffles, I have to turn mine to the max setting. Also preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Pour about ⅔ cup batter into your waffle iron and cook to desired doneness. Mine took about 4 minutes. Remove the waffle from the iron and place it directly on the oven rack to keep warm and crispy while you finish making the remaining waffles.
For the compote:
- Place the cherries in a medium sauce pan along with the maple syrup and pinch salt. Cover and bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often and gently smashing the cherries to release juices.
- When the cherries are cooked through, remove about 2 Tablespoons of the juice and place it in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk in the cornstarch until a smooth paste forms. Add the cornstarch slurry back into the pot and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Keep warm for serving.
Waffle recipe adapted from The Food Network