April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Last year this day was cold and dreary. I remember because an editor at a high-end culinary magazine wrote and article about her best PB&J, and I remember it was toasted. I thought she had gone and taken something really simple and ruined it. She mucked it up. But, being cold and dreary, I made her sandwich as suggested. And now I owe her an apology. Over the year, I've modified it a bit and think I've created the most amazing PB&J.
I eat probably three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a week. They're my go-to lunch when nothing else really sounds good. Most of those sandwiches are just regular, whereas this one here is fancy (because it's a fancy day). I do always use wholegrain bread, smooth organic peanut butter and a fruit-based jelly (not Smucker's grape since we're not 7 years old). I prefer something like blackberry that has texture or seeds.
For this special-occasion PBA&J ("A" is for almond, but stay with me), first you'll need to acquire a bread with character and chutzpah. Like Seeduction at Whole Foods. Or an old world multigrain from Central Market.
Spread a dab of salted butter on one side of the bread, then on the other side add a layer of Justin's Maple Almond Butter and, because legumes are really the heart of this sandwich, a smooth or creamy peanut butter. I like a 50/50 ratio. Accommodate your own preferences here.
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Then, add jelly to the other side of the bread, I never use much because the sweetness is a backdrop and shouldn't overwhelm the scene.
Assemble your sandwich and let it slowly work to a soft sizzle on a hot-ish grill. The butter should bubble slightly and the bread will come alive with a toasty gold-brown hue. Do that to each side, which will probably take about four or five minutes total. The butters coalesce with their new warmth and create a happy threesome with the jelly.
Then eat it!
You're welcome. Happy National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day.