Make Ahead

Peach Dream Cheesecake (Gluten-Free)

September  3, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by Alyce Morgan
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • makes one (10-inch) springform pan
Author Notes

Peachy keen fun for everyone. Living in Colorado, I wait each year to make something really special from our western slope peaches. Here's this year's offering! FYI: Keep an eye out on the oven temperatures; there are 3 different ones for this cake. Make a day ahead and refrigerate overnight or longer. —Alyce Morgan

What You'll Need
  • Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: ground ginger and cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • Filling and Garnishes
  • 5 *(8) ounces packages cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (can sub orange juice)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I use Morton's)
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup puréed peaches (I used 1 large peeled and pitted peach puréed in food processor)
  • 2 large ripe peaches, pitted and sliced for garnish
  • whipping cream for garnish
  • ground cinnamon for garnish
  1. PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack at center. Cover bottom and at least half-way up the sides of the 10-inch springform pan with two sheets of aluminum foil. Add a folded lightweight dishtowel to the bottom of a roasting pan. (This will keep the springform pan firmly set in the bain marie.) Heat a kettle of water to boiling.
  2. MAKE/BAKE CRUST: In food processor, pulse walnuts with sugar, ginger, and cinnamon until finely ground. Pour in butter and pulse until mixture is like moist sand. Using a small sheet of plastic wrap or a flat-bottomed measuring cup (or both), press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides ½-inch. Bake 12 minutes and remove to a rack while you make the filling. Raise oven temperature to 500 degrees F.
  3. MAKE FILLING AND ADD TO CRUST IN PAN: Using an electric mixture or food processor, beat or pulse the cream cheese with the lemon juice and vanilla extract until smooth. Scrape down bowl. Add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Beat or process for 3 minutes or until creamy, light, and smooth. Beat/pulse in eggs one at a time only until each is just mixed. Do not over beat. (Cake will rise and fall, perhaps cracking in oven if eggs are overbeaten.) Beat/pulse in puréed peach until just mixed. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place the springform pan in the center of the folded towel in the roasting or large baking pan.
  4. BAKE/COOL/REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT: Pull out the oven rack and put the roasting/baking pan with the cheesecake at the center. Carefully pour the hot water into the roaster around the springform pan with the cheesecake so that it comes up the sides of the springform pan 1 or 2 inches. Gently and carefully push the rack all the way in and close the oven door. Bake at 500 degrees for 12 minutes. Lower temperature to 300 and continue baking another 45 minutes or until cheesecake is firm at edges, but slightly jiggly at center. (An instant read thermometer inserted at center should read no more than 150 – 155 degrees Fahrenheit and cake should remain a fairly pale color.) Remove roasting pan to a rack and run a thin knife around the edges of the cake. Let the cake cool in the pan in the remaining water. When completely cool, remove springform pan from the roaster and water and dry bottom with a towel. Cover loosely and refrigerate at least overnight before serving.
  5. SERVE: Slice, dipping knife in warm water and wiping on towel before each cut to insure clean wedges of cake. Serve garnished with sliced fresh peaches and whipped cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon. If there is a bit of condensed liquid on top of cake, lightly lay down and pick back up a sheet of paper towel to absorb it. This happens if you’ve wrapped the cake tightly or it’s been refrigerated before it’s totally cooled. STORAGE: Up to one week wrapped in the fridge or double-wrapped 2-3 months in the freezer. Cheesecakes freeze well and so are lovely to do the month ahead of a holiday or birthday.
  6. Cook’s Notes: For a cheesecake containing gluten, substitute 3 tablespoons (all purpose, unbleached wheat) flour for the 1 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch. You could also make a graham cracker crumb crust in lieu of the nut and spice crust. Inspiration from Pagliacci's Restaurant (Victoria, BC) for basic cheesecake info, Domino's for ideas on the peaches, and Food & Wine for proportions for a nut crust.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alyce Morgan
    Alyce Morgan
  • judy

2 Reviews

judy September 8, 2021
who doesn't love peaches and cream? I do a version of this by simply making a cheesecake base ( I prefer lemon to vanilla as my flavoring) and pouring it into my pan, then layering on top sliced peaches that have been macerating in sugar and spice with a touch of salt. I allow them to macerate for several hours, this brings out the juices, then I add either cornstarch or flour to thicken. Bake until bubbling. I cheat a bit and put in a regular store bought pie crust, but could easily do a nut crust to avoid gluten (which I don't have to worry about). I generally don't bother with a springform pan, and it cuts readily for serving. I store balance in the pan I baked it in (Fat Daddios). Spices I lie to use vary from traditional nutmeg or cinnamon, to anise and cardamom or even tarragon and mint. This works well with any stone fruit, and so much easier. I also am cooking for two, so I use 1 block of cream cheese, 4-6 peaches and a couple of black plums. Makes 6 generous slices.
Alyce M. September 8, 2021
This sounds like a yummy -- pie? (Do you use a pie plate or a cake pan?) I like the idea of all those peaches. Lovely. Also cool that it works with any stone fruit. I cook for two, too. We shared this with friends and still froze a few individual pieces for later. Happy end of summer! Alyce Morgan, Colorado Springs, CO (