By Tara C.
I love to go to used bookstores and look for old and quirky cookbooks. One such find is The Great American Writers’ Cookbook, edited by Dean Faulkner Wells.
This book is a compilation of recipes provided by the authors themselves or a family member. As I scan through this cookbook, I am envisioning a book club dinner party featuring Norman Mailer’s Stuffed Mushrooms, Erma Bombeck’s Taco Salad, Hunter S. Thompson’s Open Face Cigarette Special Hot and Cold Sandwich with Artichoke Appetizer, and William F. Buckley Jr.’s Supply-Side Economics Fudge (best title, EVER, I think). But that will have to wait. Today I am interested in Ray Bradbury. As you may know, the author of The Martian Chronicles and Farenheit 451 passed away earlier this month. Why not pay homage with a favorite recipe?
His introduction is priceless:
I wish I could think of something fabulous, but then as soon as I say that, I realize that I have a recipe that has been around our house for 25 years, and is incredible. Try this on your watering gums! Ray Bradbury's Peach Kuchen, by God! Stupendous stuff. Better than wine, popcorn, sex, cocaine, and memories of W.C. Fields!
I’m starting to think I’ve been under-selling my own recipes. And surely I can't be the only one who had to Google W.C. FieIds? I feel almost obligated to make something this steeped in hyperbole.
The result is very tasty. The custard topping topping is delicious with slightly tarte peaches. I recommend eating it warm.
Thank you, Ray Bradbury, for your enduring classics, for your ideas that provoked, challenged and entertained, and for the indelible mark you left on the literary world. I for one won’t underestimate your Peach Kuchen. My watering gums thank you, too. I think a slice would go well with a good book.
(photo from: me)
Ray Bradbury's Peach Kuchen
Recipe from: The Great American Writers' Cookbook, edited by Dean Faulkner Wells
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine (I used butter)
12 peach halves, fresh or canned or 2 pkg frozen slices (I used frozen slices)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy or sour cream (I used heavy cream)
Start your oven at 400F or moderately hot and get out an 8-inch square pan. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar together in a mixing bowl.
Cut in butter or margarine with two knives or a pastry blender under mixture looks like a coarse cornmeal. Pat an even layer of this crumbly pastry over bottom and halfway up the sides of baking pan. Use your hands and press firmly until it holds.
Skin fresh peaches and cut in half; drain canned; thaw and drain frozen peaches. Arrange peaches over bottom pastry neatly and sprinkle with a mixture of remaining sugar and cinnamon. Bake 15 minutes, then pour a mixture of slightly beaten egg yolks and heavy or sour cream over the top. Bake 30 minutes longer. Serve warm or cold to 6.