Friday, August 17, 2018

Peach Almond No-Bake Sort-of Cheesecake

It started with the peaches—perfect tree-ripened globes of glowing red shading into yellow. I was running through the market getting a few essentials but the peaches stopped me in my tracks and I grabbed up a few and brought them home. (My humble apologies to all the vendors of local farmers markets, which I adore, but I have a deadline to meet and my husband is having cataract surgery and I’m leaving the country next week, so I’m just a wee bit short of time to make a side trip for local foods.)

So what do I do with the peaches? I scour my fridge and come up with leftover ingredients of a lot of prior dishes—none of which is enough for an entire new dish. But! I can combine them! So, I had cookies left over from an earlier cheesecake crust, and a bit of almond paste, and a package of cream cheese (and as always, plenty of butter and sugar). Surely I can put these together somehow?

Then I had a brainstorm! During the last few weeks, where I live (and in a lot of other places) it’s been hot and humid. Why not make a no-bake cheesecake? Many of the crusts can go either way—if you want it to hold together, just chill it for a while before filling it. The filling doesn’t need cooking anyway, if you’re not using eggs

Many of us at MLK have offered variations of peach dishes—I’ve got a cheesecake recipe lurking somewhere on the list. But I wanted something heavier on the peaches and lighter on the filling—a sort of tart with a creamy base under the sliced fruit. And a flavorful crust holding the whole thing together. And this is what I ended up with! (It’s actually cobbled together from four different recipes.)

Fresh Peach and Almond No-Bake Cheesecake



1-1/2 cups cookie crumbs (use graham cracker crumbs if you like, but others will work)
5 Tblsp butter, melted
1/2 cup coarse almond flour
1/2 tsp almond extract
a stub of leftover almond paste (optional)


If you start with whole cookies, beat them into crumbs. Or break them into large pieces and stick them in your food processor and pulse.

Add the other ingredients and continue to pulse until they’re all mixed and form coarse crumbs.

Press into a springform pan (this is an eight-inch one), pressing partway up the sides. If you’re going the no-bake route, chill for one hour or more. If you prefer to bake your crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 8 minutes. Let cool before filling.


2-3 fresh ripe peaches (depending on size)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz. cream cheese (I was a little short, so I made up the difference with crème fraiche. You could also use sour cream or yogurt.)
2 tsp almond extract

Peel the peaches and slice.

Blend together the other ingredients in a stand mixer until smooth. Pour into the pan over the crust.

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, arrange the peach slices on top. (One recipe suggested slicing the cheesecake part before you add the peaches, so when you cut it into serving slices you don’t moosh the whole thing into a mess. Either way, make sure you use a sharp knife.) Sprinkle with sugar or add a dollop of whipped cream, if you feel the need.

Note: The cheesecake part will not be very thick, but your goal is to show off the beautiful peaches.

And I'm still between books! Just polishing up the draft of the next Orchard Mystery (coming in November, if it ever gets a name) and doing a final tidying up on the next County Cork Mystery (The Lost Traveller). Then on to writing a holiday short involving an Irish dragon. And I'm leaving for Ireland on Monday! There will be pictures!


  1. Ingenious use of items at hand.
    And the peach arrangement is really well done!

  2. Love the way you pulled it all together. Looks yummy & pretty. I'm intrigued by that Irish dragon story. Safe travels!

  3. The cheesecake with peaches looks delicious. Looking forward to the Irish dragon story! Enjoy Ireland.