Cornmeal Bacon Waffles with Thyme-Infused Maple Syrup

  1. De-stem 4 small sprigs of thyme. Place both leaves and stems in a saucepan with ½ cup maple syrup, 5 black peppercorns, and 2 tablespoons of water. Place over very low heat and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes to infuse syrup with thyme. Strain into a pitcher.
  2. Heat saucepan over medium heat and add 10 rashers of bacon. Cook until crisp, drain on paper towels and cool to room temperature. Crumble into small pieces, which should give about 1 ¼ cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs, 1 ½ cups buttermilk and ½ cup of butter, melted. In a large bowl, combine ¾ cups of cornmeal, ¾ cups of flour, 4 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Make a well in the center of the mixture, then pour in egg mixture. Whisk until the batter is mostly smooth with just a few lumps. If the batter is too thick, stir in another 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Gently fold in the bacon.
  4. Ladle batter into preheated waffle maker, using ½ to ¾ cup batter per batch and spreading the batter so that it almost reaches the edges. Cook until crisp and browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, remove the waffles and serve hot or place on a baking sheet in a single layer in a 95°C oven for up to 20 minutes while you make the rest with the remaining batter. Drizzle with the warm thyme-infused syrup.

Recipe courtesy of Leite's Culinaria.