Author David "Mas" Masumoto, a short, square 52-year-old with a quick smile and work-hardened hands, is probably the most famous fruit farmer in America. His peaches, which are almost entirely sold to restaurants and a few select markets, are featured by name on some of the finest menus in the country -- Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., the French Laundry in Napa Valley, Calif., and Per Se in Manhattan. The peaches, grown in California's Central Valley, have been selected for the "Ark of Taste" of fruits and vegetables recognized by the international organization Slow Food.
FRESH PEACH COBBLER
TOTAL TIME: 20 MINUTES, PLUS 30 TO
35 MINUTES BAKING
MAKES 6-8 SERVINGS
1 cup flour
1 / 2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 1 / 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 / 2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 1 / 2 teaspoons butter, cut up, divided
1 / 2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
4 cups peeled, sliced peaches (about 5 peaches)
1 / 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in 3 tablespoons of the butter with a pastry blender. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough. Do not overmix.
In a saucepan, mix together the remaining 1 / 2 cup of sugar and the cornstarch. Gradually stir in the boiling water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the peaches and pour the mixture into a 9-inch-square baking dish. Dot with the remaining butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Drop the topping by heaping tablespoons on top of the fruit. Bake until the top is crisp and browned, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
Per serving (based on 8 servings): 202 calories; 3 grams protein; 36 grams carbohydrate; 2 grams fiber; 6 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 15 milligrams cholesterol; 244 milligrams sodium
Adapted from a recipe by David Masumoto's wife, Marcy.
Russ Parsons writes for the Los Angeles Times, which provided the recipe analysis.