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Author Notes: As one who works in a dessert bakery, when I engage in culinary exploits on my days off I should probably be grilling and sautéing so as to give myself a break from jiggling cheesecakes and scooping muffin batter. But one morning recently I looked at the peaches that were about to get moldy on the counter and couldn't help but think of how great they'd be in a cheesecake. So here you have it, a sort of update on peaches and cream that's not so sweet that it hurts your teeth, thanks to some help from balsamic vinegar.
This recipe could very easily be gluten free if you used rice crackers or other gluten free crackers in place of graham crackers and buttered and floured the pan with a gluten free flour or spray. It would probably also be pretty great with other fruits when peaches aren't in season. —WhileItRises
For the cheesecake
cups Graham cracker crumbs
ounces Cream cheese, softened
cup Sour cream
ounces Brown sugar
tablespoon Vanilla extract
Ripe peaches, peeled and finely diced
tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 275 F.
- Melt butter and stir in graham crumbs. Butter and flour or spray a 9" round springform pan. Press the graham mixture into the springform. Put in the fridge until needed.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium high or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, and brown sugar until smooth and whipped. Add in vanilla and eggs one at a time on medium speed. Add in diced peaches and combine on medium speed.
- Stop the mixer and add 1 tbsp balsamic, stir in on lowest setting very briefly, so that there is a swirl of balsamic.
- Pour into the prepared springform. Bake on the middle rack for an hour and a half, until the top has at least one crack.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely on the counter.
- Once the cheesecake has completely cooled, run a knife wet with hot water around the sides of the pan to set the cheesecake free if it hasn't pulled away from the sides of the pan. If it has pulled away, you should be able to unbuckle the hinge without any problems.
- If refrigerating overnight, place the cheesecake in a cake container or something similar and then place in the fridge.
For the balsamic glaze and caramelized peach topping and instructions for slicing
Peaches, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
cup Balsamic vinegar
cup Brown sugar
pinch Kosher salt
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Kosher salt, for sprinkling
- NOTE! If you are planning on refrigerating overnight and serving the next day, this step should happen on the intended serving day.
- Preheat your oven to 450 F.
- Combine 1/4 cup balsamic, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and pinch kosher salt in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil while stirring, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally until reduced by about half, around 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Peel, pit, and slice two peaches thinly, about 1/4 inch for each slice. I usually cut 10 slices from this size cheesecake and I put 3 peach slices on each cheesecake slice, so two peaches will usually yield about 30 roughly uniform slices with some tiny and juicy leftovers. Spread the peach slices in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with foil and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar and just a touch of kosher salt. Put the pan in the oven until the sugar caramelizes and peaches are looking golden, about 10-15 minutes. When the peaches are cool enough to touch, remove them from the pan and put them in a container in the fridge until the cheesecake is completely cooled.
- Fan the caramelized peach slices on the top part of each slice. Use a spoon to swirl the balsamic glaze over the entire cheesecake.
- You'll need to refrigerate for at least a few hours if you have not refrigerated the night before. If you've already refrigerated overnight you can serve immediately.
- When slicing, a sharp, long-bladed knife works best. The method that we use in the bakery that I work in is to fill a large measuring cup or tall container of some sort with hot water, put the knife in for a few seconds, and dry on a towel before each slice is made. Works well for smooth slicing with no cheesecake guts ending up all over the knife and cheesecake.