Thursday, March 30, 2017

amazing overnight waffles

Let's carry on with the breakfast theme, shall we?

I have been meaning to tell you about these waffles for quite a while now.

I started thinking about yeasted waffles seven years ago, when I ate one for breakfast at Macrina Bakery in Seattle. It was light but substantial and had that homey flavour of freshly-baked bread. I was hooked.

But I didn't perfect my own gluten-free yeasted waffle recipe until last winter.

Enter Mollie Katzen's Amazing Overnight Waffles in The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

Besides tasting exactly the way I want my waffle to taste, they have a genius technique. The night before — or even a day or two before! — you stir together the dry ingredients and whisk in some milk. Then you cover it and let it sit out on the counter overnight to do its thing.

Let me tell you, it doesn't sleep overnight (but I do). Instead, it bubbles and develops a faint taste of sourdough and hangs out happily until I rub the sleep out of my eyes and go check on it.

At that point, I plug in the waffle iron to heat because all I have to do is whisk an egg and a bit of melted butter into the batter.

All of a sudden, we're sitting down at the breakfast table taking in the wonder of a weekend morning and eating hot yeasted waffles.

It is heaven. A very achievable heaven.

one year ago: sriracha broccolini and tofu with coconut rice
two years ago: peanut sesame noodles
three years ago: brigadeiros and spicy salmon broth


amazing overnight waffles
By Mollie Katzen in The Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser
Adapted for gluten-free flours

265 g. flour (2 c.) all-purpose wheat flour
     Or gluten-free:
     55 g. oat flour
     50 g. millet flour
     80 g. potato starch
     80 g. sweet rice flour
     2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
heaping 1/2 tsp. table salt or heaping 1 tsp. kosher salt
490 g. (2 c.) milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
64 g. (6 tbsp.) butter, melted + butter for the waffle iron

Stir the flour(s), yeast, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plastic hat (my favourite). Let stand overnight at room temperature. (If your kitchen will be warmer than 21 degrees, put it in the fridge. Likewise, if you'd like to make this more than 15 hours ahead, put it in the fridge.)

Have a good sleep.

In the morning, heat up the waffle iron. Whisk the egg and melted butter into the batter, which will be somewhat thin. Mix a little neutral oil and melted butter together and brush it over the waffle iron. Dollop spoonfuls of batter onto the iron and use a metal spoon to spread it out a bit. You are looking for just enough batter to cover much of the waffle iron.

Cook until crisp and brown but not too dark, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot. If you're making them for a crowd, you can keep them warm on a rack in a low oven. Don't pile them on a plate because they'll release steam and get quite soft.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

lemon curd

As a teenager, I used to make lemon curd all the time.

I remember pulling out the double-boiler and setting the bottom pot on to boil while I measured out the lemon, sugar, eggs and butter for the top pot.

I'm not sure where I got the recipe — maybe the church cookbook?

In any case, I was smitten. I spooned it thickly between layers of cake and dolloped it on vanilla ice cream. Sometimes, I just spread it over buttered toast.

All that to say: why did I forget about it for 20 years?

As I have just re-realized, there's something about transforming the lemon into a wobbly, rich curd that makes it taste even more intensely of lemon. And it is wonderful.

I got fully back on the lemon curd bandwagon last weekend when I tried Regina Schrambling's lemon-almond butter cake. In it, you make lemon curd, then plop great spoonfuls onto the almond dough. The cake rises up around the curd and it all mingles together to create a homely cake with surprising pockets of lemon flavour. It is very good.

Then on Shrove Tuesday, Scott and I were invited to a pancake dinner. I, of course, offered to bring a pancake topping. Because — really — I'm always up to the challenge of making a new pancake topping.

Lemon curd it was. We had it again yesterday morning on our leftover pancakes. It might be just be our new favourite pancake topping.

At this rate, I'll be making lemon curd every three days. I think we'd both be OK with that.

one year ago: roasted rhubarb with wine and vanilla
two years ago: buttermilk pancakes with apple-pear tops
three years ago: salted butter break-up cookies


lemon curd
very slightly adapted from Regina Schrambling*
makes a scant cup

grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
7 tbsp. sugar
2 extra-large eggs**
3 tbsp. butter, cubed

If you have a double boiler, put water in the bottom pot and get it started boiling. If you don't, start a regular pot. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and set aside for later.

In the top pot of the double boiler or a heatproof bowl, beat the zest, juice, sugar and eggs well. Add the butter. Set it over the boiling water pot. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until it thickens into curd, about 5 to 8 minutes. I found mine was ready when the spatula would leave a trail on the bottom of the pot that wouldn't completely fill in with curd.

Strain into the bowl you already prepared. Press plastic wrap over the curd to keep it from forming a skin and cool in the fridge. Put in a clean jar or another container with a lid. Some recipes say lemon curd keeps for weeks in the fridge. Enjoy!

*I halved the recipe. Also, the original recipe (halved) calls for 6 tablespoons sugar. I mistakenly used 7 the first time I made it and I've kept using 7. I find it's just the right amount of sweet —any less and it would be too puckery.

**I do tend to have extra-large eggs on hand because they're a good price at the Italian Centre. However, I'm pretty sure this would work with large eggs, as the difference in weight is usually very small. Try it and let me know?