Mistress's Nectarine Crisp
Dia Passik doesn't recall how and why she was sold into slavery. Perhaps her mother was a slave, or she was kidnapped by slavers or pirates. She was unusually well-educated for a slave, having learned to read and write, as well as etiquette and deportment. One of her mistresses thought Dia should know how to prepare dishes favored by the master and his family. This didn't bother Dia, as it simply made her a greater favorite among those who controlled the terms and conditions of her life.
Actually, one thing did bother her about cooking -- she wasn't allowed to eat any of it. She was instructed in seasonings and procedures, but she couldn't even taste it! Some days, Dia thought she might die from the desire to put even a tiny morsel between her lips. In particular, she desperately wanted to eat this nectarine crisp dessert. She swore she could eat the whole thing herself.
So now that she was a Wraith, she pulled K.P. duty, like all of them. The very first chance she got, she managed to get Squeaky the protocol 'droid to trade for expensive, ripe, juicy nectarines, fine white flour and fresh, tasty butter. She served the bubbling hot dessert as the whole dinner to the squadron. They thought it curious, but it was delicious. Knowing the story of Dia's obsession, they congratulated her on restraining herself to one serving. Little did they know -- she'd baked and consumed another dish-full of the treat all by herself, just minutes before!
In a small bowl, blend the corn starch and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Toss this mixture with the peaches, coating evenly. Place the peaches in a 2½ quart ovenproof dish (or 9" x 13" baking dish will do, too).
Cut the cold butter into 1-inch pieces and rub together with the flour and remaining sugar till the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (like for making a pie crust). Spread this mixture over the nectarines. Bake till the topping is golden brown and the fruit mixture bubbles along the edges of the pan. This will take about 75 minutes. Serve warm, or allow to cool to room temperature.
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