Tom Colicchio’s PBJ Sandwich Recipe
4 cups diced trimmed rhubarb
2 cups plus 1 tsp sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp powdered pectin
8 tbsp peanut butter
8 slices Pullman bread (sandwich bread made with white flour)
At ’wichcraft, we make our own peanut butter and we make our own jelly, usually strawberry, Concord grape, and for a brief time in the spring, rhubarb. We feel that even the humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich deserves the finest ingredients. Here’s one of our top secrets: we doctor up standard peanut butter by adding real butter, which mellows the flavour, adds richness, and makes the texture more velvety. Is it excessive or — as some have suggested — even evil to add butter to peanut butter? Well, we think of it as substituting one fat for another, modest as long as you spread the same amount on your sandwich.
Step 1: In a bowl, combine the rhubarb, 2 cups sugar, and lemon juice and refrigerate overnight in a tightly covered container.
Step 2: The next day, in a small saucepan, bring the rhubarb-and-sugar mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Step 3: In a small bowl, combine the pectin and remaining tsp sugar and temper it by adding small amounts of the hot rhubarb mixture and quickly stirring it. Add it to the rest of the rhubarb and return the saucepan to the stove and bring to a boil.
Step 4: Remove from the heat and place into a clean container with a lid. Once it has cooled down, close the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Step 1: Evenly spread the peanut butter on 4 slices of bread. Spread 2 tbsp of jelly on each of the other 4 slices. Close the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve.
Reprinted with permission from ‘wichcraft by Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortúzar (2009 Random House Canada).