by Andrea Cole
Stow -- Resident Lois Schlademan said she never expected her mother's recipe from nearly 50 years ago to win her $10,000.
But that is exactly what happened when Schlademan entered a recipe for peach puzzle in the Heirloom Recipe Preservation Contest. The recipe was selected as the grand-prize winner out of nearly 3,000 entries.
"Last summer, I sent in the recipe through the magazine, 'Cook's Country,'" said Schlademan. "I didn't hear anything about it until earlier this year when they called and said I was one of the top five winners, and I would win $1,000. Then a few weeks later, I had a message on my answering machine from the magazine's editor that instead of $1,000, I would be getting $10,000. It was 10 at night, and I thought, 'Who can I tell?' Luckily, my daughters, Tamy and Kate, live in Korea, so it was 10 in the morning there."
Schlademan said that her mom made the dessert every summer, when her family lived in New York. Now, Schlademan bakes the treat for her family.
Schlademan said peach puzzle is easy to make. It starts with a custard cup upside down in the center of a pie plate. Seven peeled, whole peaches are arranged around the cup and drizzled with brown sugar, butter and vanilla. As the peaches bake under the crust, a vacuum forms inside the custard cup and the juices in the pie plate are pulled up inside the cup. Once cooled, the pie plate is flipped over to reveal the peaches nestled into the flaky biscuit.
"You can taste the tartness of the peach, the sweetness of the sauce and the flavor of the biscuit," she said. "I try to get local peaches, because I think they taste better. I wait until they're just soft enough. I make it as often as I can in the summer."
Schlademan said her daughters, her son, Andy, and her husband, Jim, enjoy the dessert, along with other treats Schlademan makes. Schlademan, 64, said she and her husband moved to Stow in 1984.
"I love to bake," she said. "I belong to the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library's book club, and I make something each month for our meetings. [My husband] is a retired chemist, and he also loves to bake."
Seven peeled, whole peaches
One and one-fourth cups enriched flour
Three teaspoons tartrate baking power
One-half teaspoon salt
Five tablespoons shortening
Five teaspoons milk to make soft dough
Three-fourths cup light brown sugar
Two tablespoons butter
Six tablespoons water
One-half teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle of salt
Invert small glass custard cup in center of 9-inch round baking dish and place peaches around it. Make syrup with last five ingredients, and pour over peaches.
Make biscuit crust with top five ingredients, toss on board, and flatten to a circle approximately half inch thick. Lift carefully and place over peaches.
Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool for 15 minutes. Place plate over dish and quickly invert.