Ahh, Perkins. The stomping grounds of my teenage years. Where my soccer teammates and I would go after games to wolf down bread bowl salads. Where my classmates and I spent hours hiding out in our jammies during our annual “skip day”. I even worked as a Perkins hostess for a short stint. Perkins, you will always carry a special place in my heart.
One of my favorite Perkins menu items was the Belgian Waffle. Tall and crispy, it came with whipped cream and your choice of fruit syrup. I must have devoured hundreds over my childhood, but until recently I had forgotten all about them.
But this past Valentine’s Day I was looking for something special to make for breakfast, and lo and behold, that Perkins memory called to me from deep in my brain. So I plugged in the waffle maker (on loan from the in-laws), whipped up some cream, and poured this strawberry syrup.
Dudes, it was to die for. It put all other breakfasts to shame, I tell you. And that strawberry syrup was used again in oatmeal and for pancakes. Next up I’m trying it with some frozen blackberries that have been taking up valuable freezer space.
I used these recipes, substituting wheat flour (I’ve really grown to prefer it) in the waffles. And even with the girls devouring it like it was their last meal, it was enough for two breakfasts.
I made the batter, the cream and the syrup the night before. I also used lemon instead of orange in the syrup.
Waffles with Strawberry Syrup
Recipe by Emeril Lagasse
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nonstick cooking spray, optional
In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and eggs have turned a pale yellow. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture to the egg-milk mixture and whisk just until blended. Do not overmix. In a third bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter, being careful not to overmix. Coat the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray, if required, and pour enough batter in the iron to just cover the waffle grid. Close and cook as per the manufacturer’s instructions until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. (Do not open the waffle iron for at least 1 minute.) Repeat with the remaining batter.
Fresh Strawberry Syrup
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and diced, or thawed frozen unsweetened strawberries (about 3 cups)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the strawberries are soft and the syrup is thickened and reduced by one-third to one-half in volume, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.