I know - another strange combination, but I saw this and had to make it. It’s not the prettiest of sandwiches but it’s extremely tasty, and actually something the kids would like as well. It’s dark, sticky, sweet, gooey and hearty. Hardly figure-friendly, but a definite fall treat.
I’ve included steaming instructions, but I baked it this time. If you have the time, do the steam method - it comes out a bit more moist and less crumbly. But the baking method works as well.
3/4 cup pumpernickel flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup whole wheat Flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup currants or raisins
1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
1/2 cup molasses
1 apple, peeled and sliced thin
2 tablespoons banana jam**
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 ounces sliced Brabander Cheese (I get it through DiBruno Brothers) or your favorite Irish Cheddar
If you are baking the bread, preheat the oven to 325°F; no need to preheat the oven if you choose to steam the bread on the stovetop.
Lightly grease an 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” loaf pan or a 10-cup Bundt pan.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the pumpernickel flour, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and currants or raisins.
In a separate small bowl, beat together the buttermilk and molasses until smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined; there’s no need to beat the batter.
Spoon the batter into your pan, and cover the pan with buttered aluminum foil, fastening the foil tight to the edges of the pan (so the bread will steam a bit), but ballooning it in the center, so the bread has room to expand without hitting the foil.
Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil (the middle of the loaf may be slightly sunken; that’s OK), and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
* If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1.5 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice to milk or half & half and let it sit for 5 minutes.
**I got my banana jam through DiBruno Brothers as well, but you can substitute a bit of mashed banana and some brown sugar.
To steam the bread: Secure the foil cover with a rubber band. Place a steamer insert (or some crumpled aluminum foil) in the bottom of a deep kettle; you want to shield your Bundt or loaf pan from resting on the bottom of the kettle.
Place the pan into the kettle, atop the insert or foil. The kettle should be deep enough so its lid can cover the pan with a bit of room to spare.
Fill the kettle with boiling water two-thirds of the way up the pan. Bring the water back to a boil, lower it to a simmer, then place the lid on the kettle. Steam for about 2 hours, adding water if necessary. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Remove the bread from the kettle or the oven, and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.
For each sandwich, cook a few apple slice in the jam until a bit soft. Set aside.
Melt some butter in a small pan on medium high and place one slice bread down into it.
Place a few slices of cheese (the cheesiness quantity depends on you), and top with some apples and the liquid.
Place another slice of bread on top and flip when the cheese starts to melt.
Voila! Lunch, dessert or after-school snack. Weird or not, you’re going to love it.