Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Kira Corbin
While traditional Belgian waffles are made with yeast, we use beaten egg whites to give these salty-sweet waffles their light, airy texture and crispy exterior. For freezing and heating instructions, see below.
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 waffle and about 1/4 cup pears)
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pears; cook 15 minutes or until soft. Add 6 tablespoons water and syrup; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid is syrupy. Remove from heat.
2. Preheat a Belgian-style waffle iron.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add ham and cheese; toss to coat. Add buttermilk, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and egg yolks, stirring to combine. Place egg whites in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter per 4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron coated with cooking spray, spreading batter to edges. Cook 7 minutes or until steaming stops. Repeat with remaining batter.
To freeze: Cool pears to room temperature. Divide mixture evenly among 8 plastic freezer bags. Cool waffles completely on a wire rack. Stack waffles between wax paper, and place in a large plastic freezer bag for up to 6 months.
To cook: Heat frozen waffles in toaster using freezer setting until heated through. Or heat in a 350° oven until warmed through. Microwave frozen pears in bags on DEFROST 1 minute. Remove from bags; place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.