The Suncrest peach series begins. David Mas Masumoto is an organic peach farmer in Del Ray, CA, an inspiring author, and a magic man on the planet. I have had the privilege to spend a little time with him and take a walk with him. If you want to be nurtured by wonderful writings, read some of his books and letters. http://www.masumoto.com/
I have seen his trees in winter. The branching of the trees almost looks like an angiogram of the heart with big branches nourishing ever smaller branches. One difference in the picture is the lengths of rope tied to the big branches in a somewhat artistic tangle so they can help each other support the weight of his incredible peaches.
I came home tonight and was offered a huge Suncrest peach fresh from Monterey Market in Berkeley, a legendary produce market. The flavor was incredible. And in my kitchen was the latest edition of Eating Well magazine, one of my new favorite sources for inspiration in the kitchen. I modified the recipe to fit Mas’ peaches and other ingredients I had. Rather than 3 peaches needed to weigh a pound, the Suncrest peaches weighed in at 11 ounces each. I just couldn’t stop at 1 pound and used two of them. Another gift came from the backyard. I have usually hacked back blackberry bushes getting all scratched up in the process. This year I gave the vine a chance and had about 2 ½ cups of berries for this delicious peach and blackberry cobbler.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the butter and canola oil to a 12” cast iron skillet or a 13 by 9 inch baking dish. Heat it in the oven until the butter melts --- just a few minutes. Meanwhile mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the milk, sugar, and vanilla. Add the butter/oil mixture to the batter and stir. Pour the batter back into the skillet. Top it with the fruit in a way that will impress your friends and family. Bake it for about 45 minutes or until the cobbler is nice and brown and fruit juices bubbly. Let it cool about fifteen minutes before eating it if you can wait. This is the essence of summer.