*notcot in food+drink , 02:30

Peanut Butter & Jelly… Haven Gastropub- 03.06.12

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Our Tasteologie editor, Jackson, found a Peanut Butter & Jelly that is unlike any other… and most definitely not what you’d picture at first… here’s what he discovered!

We have seen countless variations on peanut butter and jelly, but it has never looked like this. This playful and sophisticated turn on an old favorite was concocted by pastry Chef Santanna Salas in the new Pasadena location of Haven Gastropub. Originally knowing only that she wanted to do something with peanuts, she transformed the childhood standard into a modern dessert. Its flavors are instantly recognizable but the textures and plating are all cleverly interpreted. I got to chat a bit with the chef and go back into the kitchen to see how they make peanut butter and jelly Haven style.

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Chef Salas loves deconstructed desserts and so she broke the peanut butter down into two components: a peanut brittle base, from her grandmother’s recipe, and a peanut butter powder made with the help of a little molecular gastronomy in the form of maltodextrin. While strawberry was her jelly of choice as a child, here she the jelly is actually a trio of blackberry preparations: a blackberry sauce, fresh blackberries, and a scoop of a wonderfully light blackberry sorbet. The bread shows up as a sliver of sourdough which acts as the garnish. This is how it all comes together…

Preparation is key. The dessert station has all of the ingredients ready to go.

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The chef makes a peanut butter powder streak up the middle and then places the berries down individually by hand.

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Next comes the peanut brittle base, which is held in place with a little bit of the blackberry syrup.

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And then the sorbet goes down onto the delicious brittle platform ready for its crown of sourdough.

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Haven is a pub, so one really ought to order a beer. They have a huge selection of great beers on tap, but this dessert really calls for something special. A Berliner Weisse is a sour wheat beer enjoyed around Berlin. Technically these light cloudy beers can only be made there, so Pasadena’s Crafstman Brewery makes a special Angelino Weisse.

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Haven serves this beer with a little red currant syrup mixed in, which adds a nice little complexity to the glass. The Angelino Weisse really partners well with the Peanut Butter and Jelly. Its sour notes cut through the dessert’s sweetness and cleanse the palate leaving each bite/sip tasting like it’s the first.

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Beer is a far better companion for this Peanut Butter and Jelly than a glass of milk. This dessert is a far cry from the white bread, strawberry jam and peanut butter of our collective youth. Haven serves up a clever reworking of the tastes and textures of our memories and a twist on our expectations.

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2 Notes

Awesome. I visit Haven quite frequently. Super dorky clientele (it being Pasadena and all), but the food is great and the beer list respectable.

My favorite dish is the Beef Cheek Poutine.

----- Jason Carlin 06.03.12 13:37

Thank you for a great article!!! See you soon!

----- Santanna 06.03.12 13:29

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