Maine Dish: What About Waffles?

The light of spring brings me a wave of new energy and the primal desire to clean. It usually starts with my refrigerator. Before swabbing the decks, I need to empty the shelves. Out come the partial jars of jams and jellies, the forgotten packages of dried fruits and the mystery odds and ends from the freezer. Gone will be the remaining red delicious apples, shriveled celery root and multiple jars of pickles.

Frugality is in my genes, and spring cleaning always presents a wonderful opportunity to develop a new recipe. Frozen puree from a left-over can of pumpkin was the perfect amount to put into waffles. The key to this recipe is to separate the eggs and fold in the whites, which makes for a light and crispy waffle. Dried fruit, softened with the left-over bits of jams and jellies and cooked with apples, makes for a creative and different topping.


Pumpkin Waffles make a delicious brunch or a light supper. Hold the waffles in a 200-degree F oven until ready to serve. The Spring Cleaning Fruit Topping provides just the right amount of sweetness and fruit without overwhelming the savory waffle. Add a green vegetable and ham steak or grilled local, sausages to complete the meal. Celebrate your sparkling clean refrigerator with a mimosa or glass of bubbly. Now that’s my kind of spring cleaning!

Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. She welcomes food-related questions at [email protected].

Pumpkin Waffles

Serves 4

  • ¾ cup cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. melted butter
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup skim milk

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the pumpkin and 2 egg yolks. Beat in the sugar, butter, cinnamon and ginger. Combine the flour and baking powder and stir into the mixture. Stir in the skim milk. Beat the egg whites until stiff, and fold into the mixture. Spoon into a preheated waffle iron and bake until crisp. Makes eight 4-inch-by-4-inch waffles. Serving size is 2 waffles.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 236 calories, 9 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fat (0 grams trans fat), 172 mg. sodium, 5 grams fiber

Spring Cleaning Fruit Topping

Makes about 4½ cup servings

  • 2 apples, cored and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup dried fruits like figs, raisins, cranberries
  • ¼ cup jam or jelly
  • ¼ cup juice (apple, cranberry or orange juice)

Slowly heat the juice and jam in a small saucepan on top of the stove. Stir in the dried fruit and cook gently until it starts to break down. Add some more juice if necessary to keep it from sticking. Stir in the cubed apples and cook until the apples soften. Serve warm over the pumpkin waffles.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 160 calories, 1 gram protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fat, 9 mg. Sodium, 4.5 grams fiber.

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