There’s something quite alluring about making waffles. Golden batter poured over a hot, textured iron, quickly flowing into each deep groove. As the top of the iron closes over the bottom, the batter squeezes towards the edges. Sometimes a little batter escapes the confines of the iron grasp and hangs on the outside. With a bit of patience, the waiting concludes with a simple green light or a gentle lift. The test of success comes in the form of desired crispiness, desired browning, and whether it can easily be peeled from its honeycomb embrace. Seeing those five hearts melded together and the taste of each one is nothing short of humble satisfaction. It’s the simple pleasures, you know.
March 25th may appear to be like every other day, except that it has also been claimed as waffle day (vaffeldagen). And while no one really needs an excuse to eat waffles, it’s always nice to be reminded that they are worthy of their own day.
The history behind the waffle goes far back, perhaps even before the middle ages, in the form of wafers, which were made with patterned irons. These wafers, over the course of time, would eventually evolve into the waffle. For a closer look at some of the history behind the waffle, you can read my Waffles with Aniseed recipe I posted last year.
Waffles are the perfect base to explore flavors, textures, and the nuances of sweet and savory. The versions are endless. And so, to kick off waffle day, I am sharing on of my favorite recipes, my rye waffles with wild blueberry butter.
Rye flour adds a bit of depth and texture to the waffles. A bit more bite and a bit more heartiness without being too heavy. Smeared on top is homemade blueberry butter made from the skins and pulp of strained wild blueberries I picked last autumn- the puree I used to make homemade marshmallows. Of course, the butter can be made with the entire berry, but this just shows you that you can extract two recipes out of one. These waffles are really amazing and delicious – rustic, yet elegant at the same time. And the butter. Oh, that butter. With its deep and vibrant color and specks of blueberries. Need I say more.
Rye Waffles with Wild Blueberry Butter (Rugvafler med Blåbærsmør)
- ¾ cup (95 g) rye flour
- 1 cup (120 g) white flour
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2 dl) buttermilk
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2 dl) milk
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 g) butter, melted
(Makes enough to fill a small bowl – you’ll have leftovers for another dish and be thankful for it!)
- About 3 cups fresh blueberries or 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries (10 oz)
- 1 1/2 cups (336 g) butter, room temperature
To make the waffles, mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the milk slowly and whisk as you pour. Add the eggs and melted butter and whisk well. Let the batter rest for 15-20 minutes. Bake in a hot, waffle iron.
For the blueberry butter:
In a small saucepan, place the blueberries and allow to cook over medium-low heat until the blueberries break down and release their juices. Press down on the blueberries to help this process along. You want to get around 1/2 cup of blueberry compote. (You can, of course, strain the blueberries at this stage. You’ll get a nice juice to use for another recipe and the pulp can be used to make the butter)
Take off the stove and allow to cool. Once cooled, place the butter and the cooled blueberry compote in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. If you do not have a food processor, you can also blend them together by hand. Serve alongside the waffles. Keep the leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.