And, while this is not an “official” holiday (no Congressional or Presidential proclamations), I am certainly going to celebrate the occasion! Already this week I’ve made four cheesecakes (Caramel, White Chocolate Raspberry , and a White Chocolate Strawberry) and will be making one more (Peach) before the end of this week (while fresh peaches are in season!).
Peach Cheesecake (with a Gingershap Crust!)
25 Gingersnap cookies (crushed)
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, melted
4 small peaches (about 1-1/4 pounds, peeled and sliced)
1-1/4 cups (plus 2 Tablespoons) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 packages (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened (room temperature)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peach preserves
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 large peach, peeled, and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind gingersnaps in food processor (coarse crumbs). Add melted butter and mix well. Press crumbs on bottom (and 1 inch up the sides) of a lightly greased 9″ springform pan. Bake until lightly brown (about 8 minutes); cool on a rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Combine peaches, 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon juice in large, heavy saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and peaches are tender and juicy (about 5 minutes); remove the cover and cook an additional 5 minutes until juices thicken a bit. Cool this fruit compote.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Spoon half of the cream cheese mixture into the crust, spoon the peach compote on top of this layer, and then top with the remaining cream cheese mixture.
Wrap foil on the bottom and up the sides of your cheesecake pan and bake until lightly browned and set in the middle (about an hour — there should be a slight jiggle in the center). Cool the cheesecake on a rack and then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Combine the peach preserves and the lemon juice in a small heavy saucepan. Over medium heat, cook the mixture and stir until mixture begins to simmer. Put glaze over the top of your cheesecake and refrigerate until the glaze sets (at least 30 minutes). Arrange peach slices in the center of the cheesecake and serve.