a taste of summer – whole wheat waffles with maple peach compote

It’s hard to believe that just a mere six weeks ago, we had a relatively mild green Christmas. Here in Eastern Ontario – where we’ve been under siege since the beginning of January with snow, high winds, and frigid temperatures – that balmy green Christmas seems disproportionately long ago and far away.

After living for years in Australia, it always amazes me that life goes on in the middle of winter here; that we don’t just hibernate and reappear in spring – lean and hungry. But in fact, we do go on, and we rarely emerge leaner.

It pays to follow the aptly named Robert Frost’s advice when it comes to making it through the depths of winter – “The only way out is through.”

Frost wasn’t talking specifically of winter but his advice is sound regardless. So with that in mind – I’ve been walking daily on the frozen waters of St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario – two massive bodies of water that come together in Kingston. The ice is beautiful and strangely compelling. Some days I head east along the river – towards the Atlantic, other days I head out to one of the nearby islands or walk westward bound. At times when there is nothing but a vast expanse of ice in front of me, it is easy to imagine being in the far frozen north, like an early explorer. Every day the ice changes a little – a pressure ridge here and there – snow drifts where there weren’t any. At first, the surface was like glass but as the sun warms the upper layer, the texture changes. Occasionally you hear the water gulp and slosh under the ice.  Sometimes as the ice expands and contracts, it booms like thunder or cracks like a pistol being fired and it takes your breath away. The truth is you could drive a truck on that ice. It is at least fourteen inches thick now and will not thaw until late March or early April.

cedar island feb 2015

Last week I followed in the tracks of a coyote perfectly captured in a skiff of snow on the ice – the prints are distinguishable by the massive sharp pointy claws. My dog Lola, glued to the scent of them, kept her nose to the ground, wary. Some days a bird of prey hovers overhead – hawks and the occasional eagle. A couple of times, I’ve seen deer. But mostly, it’s quiet and we are all just making our way towards spring.

In my kitchen, I’m already growing weary of winter fare. Of soups and stews and hearty, warming dishes. I’ve been making winter salads – mushroom-and-bacon-loaded, fried-egg-topped salads. I’m thinking ahead to the first asparagus. To fresh strawberries. To hamburgers cooked on the barbeque and bottles of cold beer in the ice bucket. To potato salad. To the days when the sunshine warms me through. To biting into a juicy, freshly picked, sun-kissed, peach – the taste of summer.

So this weekend, I got out my waffle-maker and made a batch of whole wheat waffles and topped them off with a peach and maple syrup compote. Simple and incredibly delicious. The whole wheat flour in these waffles keeps them from feeling like regular doughy white waffles. And they are surprisingly light. The compote is perfect – intensely fruity and not excessively sweet. I used canned California cling peaches. Canned peaches are a surprising nutritional powerhouse – packed with vitamins and actually higher in antioxidants than fresh peaches. A much-needed hit of summer in the dead of the Canadian winter.

Whole Wheat Waffles with Maple Peach Compote

For the waffles:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • ½ cup milk or milk alternative plus more if necessary (I used rice milk)
  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the maple peach compote:

Set the waffle iron to warm.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat the vegetable oil, ½ cup milk and large egg together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir briefly to mix. Add more milk one tablespoon at a time if the batter is too stiff. Don’t over mix. The batter should be quite stiff – not pourable.

If you have an oil spritz bottle, you can lightly spritz the waffle iron surfaces before starting. If not, the first waffle may stick slightly but if you let it cook until it is browned, it will generally release quite easily.

Spoon one-quarter of the batter onto the warmed waffle iron. Cook until lightly browned. Remove waffle to a warming platter. Continue making the other waffles.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, gently warm the peach slices in their syrup, along with the lemon juice and maple syrup over medium-low heat. Stir gently occasionally as the waffles cook. Serve warm ladled over the waffles, with whipped cream as desired.

Whole wheat waffles with maple peach compote












14 thoughts on “a taste of summer – whole wheat waffles with maple peach compote

  1. Nice photo! Gosh, hope you take a cell phone with you on those walks! Take very good care! I’m trying to make myself go walking again despite an ongoing mobility issue.. I can do it, and must do it… it is just a tad difficult, so I’m at present walking around big indoor stores/warehouses buying only lightbulbs or making extra loops around the libraries I visit and picking up some Irish novels and books on Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks!
    The waffles with peachy topping sound very good! They would be a hit at any outdoor event too like a skating party. We have several maple syrup producers here and eating pancakes, sausages and baked potatoes in the woods is a tradition. I will suggest the peach topping!(This reminds me of a skating party I went to years ago and I might blog about it).

  2. Here’s hoping, by the time you read this, that you’ll be strutting around in flip-flops! Well, at least you won’t be walking on water. Okay, ice. Still, you were giving me the heebes. I’m nervous of water. And probably wouldn’t dare to walk on ice. Regardless of how thick. Even though I grew up in the country I’m far better off in town! With pavements.

    Good to know about the nutritional aspect of canned peaches, as I’ve been eating loads of them and pineapple. Body must be craving. And I would surely wolf your waffles. Even though I’ve only ever had potato (frozen). Used to love ’em with baked beans and eggs. Shouldn’t really admit that, I suppose.

  3. Seeing those peaches makes me think of summer and warmer temps. Love waffles and topping them with the maple peach compote is a lovely and delicious way to enjoy. I love canned peaches, I have to try your whole wheat waffle recipe they look wonderful.

  4. The Robert Frost quote really struck a cord but I guess that’s my mind set these days…

    I’ve found myself quite envious of the people I see out walking on the ice, especially prior to the several inches of snow which now covers it… but since I’m still nursing a broken shoulder I felt it best to stay off anything slippery!

    The waffles look wonderful and I may just have to try them and love the pic of you and miss Lola!

    We will have to try to get together, lunch, dinner or coffee, and in the mean time thanks for the quote Lindy!

  5. Lovely waffles! Just came in from skiing on the lake…and yes I’ve seen a few cars out there. Last year our ice did not go until May 1st! …but Turkey here I come next week to break up the routine of the long winter 😉

  6. Oh Lindy, I finally had a chance to try these. Spectacular!!! This is perfect for easter brunch!! My girls will be delighted!!! THANK YOU!!! Keep these marvelous posts coming!! I always look forward to them!!

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