With no time to make jam late on a Sunday afternoon and a box of Frog Hollow fruit overdue for eating — or cooking — peach and nectarine cobbler was the next best option. (Making cobbler or crumble is, of course, never a difficult choice.) The nectarines were a touch over the edge, their skins beginning to wrinkle and lose their luster. The peaches were perfectly tender and fragrant.
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, the book that taught me how to boil an egg, roast a turkey, and cook pancakes — those elusive (for me) dishes that are staples of many other people’s kitchen knowledge.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and butter a nine-inch ceramic pie dish.
Toss five Ruby Grand nectarines and two Suncrest peaches, each cut into around twelve wedges, with about half a cup of soft light brown sugar. Crush a sprig of around five leaves of fresh lemon verbena into the syrup that will accumulate at the bottom of the bowl as the fruit softens and the sugar dissolves. Macerate 20 minutes while you prepare the cobbler batter.
In a food processor, pulse 2/3 cup white flour, 2/3 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 cup packed soft light brown sugar and about 4 oz (1 stick) cold butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Crack an egg into a large bowl and stir with a fork until the yolk and white are blended. Mix in about 1/2 teaspoon good quality vanilla essence, and then the flour and butter mixture. Stir mixture only until it forms a soft, lumpy batter.
Pour the fruit into the pie dish, using a spatula to scrape in all the syrup as well. Remove the lemon verbena and squeeze out any syrup collected in the leaves. (There may not be much at all.) Drop the batter in teaspoonfuls all over the fruit. Don’t worry about small gaps; the batter will spread as it cooks.
Bake 35 minutes and serve warm.