Peach Puzzle

My sister Sarah is visiting us for a few days in Amarillo.  She got me this cookbook, America’s Best Lost Recipes, for my birthday.  One of the recipes that caught her eye when she looked through it was this peach puzzle.  We had no choice but to try it out when she was here.

It’s basically like an upside down peach cobbler, but with a few twists.  The peaches are left whole…pits and all.  The crust ends up on the bottom instead of the top.  And a sweet brown sugar sauce is cooked with the dessert in the oven.  The twisted part about the sauce is that its cooked upside down and is sucked into the upside down ramekin during cooling.  Don’t ask me exactly how that works…it’s a mystery…or a puzzle.

While the sauce did magically end up in the ramekin, we had some trouble with the crust sticking too much to the sides.  So, grease the sides of the pie plate.  I also recommend making this when you are fairly confident it will be consumed in one sitting…but not by yourself!  Sarah and I each had a helping, then we put the left overs in the fridge.  It wasn’t nearly as good on day two.  The crust got pretty soggy from the peach juice, and wasn’t quite as tasty.

This is a yummy dessert.  The peaches end up perfectly soft.  The crust is not too sweet, and is nice and buttery.  If you’re looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, this is a perfect dessert to use up some of those juicy summer peaches.

Peach Puzzle


Peaches and Syrup:

  • 7 medium peaches, peeled
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 6 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and adjust rack to the middle position.
  2. Place a 6 ounce ramekin upside down in the center of a 9-inch pie plate.  Grease the side of the plate.  Arrange the peaches around the edge of the plate around the ramekin.  Set aside.
  3. Combine butter, brown sugar, water, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.  Pour the syrup over the pieces.
  4. For the dough, pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor until blended.  Add in cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  5. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add milk.  Fold the milk into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until it comes together.  Squeeze the dough into a disk, and place on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Roll dough into a 9-inch circle.  Lay the dough directly over the peaches and press the dough to fit around the peaches.  Do not attach dough to the outside of the pie plate.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Transfer to a cooling rack and let sit for 30 minutes.
  8. Place a large rimmed serving platter over the top of the pie plate and quickly invert the puzzle on to the plate.
  9. Cut in wedges around each peach.  Serve with warm sauce from the ramekin and either vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.