Friday, April 5, 2013

Jelly Toast

Yesterday we talked about peanut butter toast, so it stands to reason that today we'd talk about jelly toast. Though they are  close relatives and can indeed be put together to make a delicious toasted peanut butter and jelly, there are some fundamental and extremely important differences in their preparation. But, if you play your cards (and spread your butter) right, you're in for a super treat!

First, you're going to want to start with some fairly substantial bread. The method I'm proposing can sometimes leave your toast a little less than crisp, so I suggest you just hedge your bets with some sturdy and potentially slightly stale bread. Stale bread makes the best toast anyway. It's pretty much already toast before you toast it.

Next, to the butter! I know it's shocking, but I like to butter my toast before it's toasted. This way the butter can sort of permeate the surface of the bread and the flavor is really pronounced without being shockingly buttery. As we've discussed before, I do like to keep my butter out so it's easier to spread and doesn't rip a hole in my bread.

Now the toasting. I have to admit that the little Pylones toaster doesn't quite toast the bread enough to make it crispy. Sometimes you need to toast something in the oven. Usually making toast in the oven will dry it out, but that's kind of what you want here. So, put the oven to about 325 or so, and put your buttered bread right on the rack. You'll need to watch it, though, because the buttered side wont' necessarily show signs of toasting at first. You may want to turn it over halfway through so it's thoroughly crisp.

Jelly time! Once your toast has become toast, you'll take it out of the oven, ready for that jelly. Now, "jelly toast" may be a misnomer, because what we're rally talking about here are preserves. Don't give me none of that grape jelly business. That is for suckers. I'm going to need strawberry preserves or better. I need those little fruit lumps on my toast. Currently my favorite are strawberry blackberry preserves, but I always jump at the chance to get my home made jam or preserves on. My friend Natalie's mother's raspberry jam is amazing. The key to this part of the process, though, is to make sure you don't spread that jelly/jam/preserves too thin. The fruit-and-butter combo is delicious, and you're going to want as much as you can get. So, live it up, why don't you? Get some fruit on that toast.

The last step here, of course, is for you to get back in bed and enjoy your toast. Just make sure you have a napkin. Sometimes the fruit lumps like to escape down your face. And we all know how sticky jelly can be.

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