This year’s peach crop in Massachusetts didn’t happen, thanks to a March cold snap and frost (that also did in my apple crop). At our local farmers market in late August, my favorite vendor had one small basket of peaches, which she admitted came from New York state (allowable if the local crop has failed). I hadn’t eaten one all summer, and oh, these smelled wonderful!
I bought only two, and not until I laid hands on one perfect ripe peach and had a vision of a recipe—lovely peach halves embedded in cheesecake, on a short crust with maybe a dash of almond flavor. I could see it, almost taste it.
And then I went looking for a recipe, and I couldn’t find one. Oh, there are plenty of peach cheesecake recipes, but in most of those the peaches are sliced or diced or pureed. Or the cook substituted peach jelly. That was NOT what I wanted. So here we go again, as I lead you into the unknown, to find my very own recipe for Peach Cheesecake.
Peel and halve two perfect ripe peaches (you do know the trick about dipping them in boiling water for less than a minute, then tossing them in ice water? The skin slips right off neatly.)
2 cups flour (if you have almond flour, you can substitute that for some of the regular flour)
2 Tblsp butter
1 Tblsp vegetable oil
3 Tblsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the ingredients together (by hand or in a food processor) until they look like coarse sand. Grease a 10-inch springform pan.
Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until it just begins to brown. Remove from oven and prepare the filling.
1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 Tblsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
With a mixer or blender, mix the ingredients together until they are smooth (be patient—the cream cheese can be lumpy).
Turn off the oven and open the door a crack. Let the cheesecake sit for five minutes to begin cooling. Then remove from the oven and cool completely. When it is cool, place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before opening the springform pan.