When I want to find the best of the best in terms of recipes, I have an inviolable source: the cookbook produced by my former compadre, Ann Criswell, the revered longtime food editor of the Houston Chronicle.
For several years I was privileged to work in an adjacent office cubby with Ann, so she was always available to answer my food questions and more than willing to share recipes.
I have about three of hers that are absolute favorites; when peach cobblers are concerned, I head straight to her cookbook, The Food Chronicles, which features her most stellar recipes of 30 years in the business. She ran this one in her weekly food section in 1986.
This cobbler meets all the requirements: flaky, tender crust and sweet filling stuffed with chunky, delicious peaches—in this case, the produce of our trees, which just keep churnin’ ’em out.
Hill Country Peach Cobbler
2 - 2 1/2 cups sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/3 cup cornstarch
8 cups sliced fresh or frozen peaches
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup melted butter
purchased crust or your favorite recipe for a 2-crust pie
In a large bowl combine sugar and cornstarch. Add peaches; toss to coat. Stir in extract and butter. Pour filling into a buttered 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. (I divided mine into two square baking dishes.) Cut dough for crust into strips. Crisscross dough strips over filling. Brush pastry with melted butter; sprinkle with sugar. Bake in 400-dgree oven 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
(Source: Candy Wagner, author of Cooking Texas Style, with recipe appearing in the Houston Chronicle 8/13/1986).