Super creamy with a triple whammy of the sun-kissed fruit that lovingly nudges the flavors to come into their own, the peach cheesecake (not to be too cheesy here) leaves you feeling peachy.
There’s peach in the batter, on top, and in the booze-laced compote, so you get bits of yummy, juicy fruit throughout. The compote is optional, but don’t skip it. It makes the cake extra special, helping the fuzzy little fruit underscore the subtle flavor of the cream cheese rather than overwhelm it.
Mango is a clear winner, but if I had to pick another summer fruit, I won’t be hemming and hawing for a long time. I love cherries; I love apricots; but peaches are my firm favorite.
All peach desserts are a fantastic way to use seasonal fruits. But since I love the texture of baked homemade cheesecakes (compared to no-bake), I opted for it.
The recipe is an adaption of my Cherry Cheesecake, where I fold the fruit in the batter instead of garnishing with it. Try it, you’ll adore the peachy fruitiness coming through in each bite.
Bake the homemade cheesecake crust
Step 1: Crush Marie biscuits (or graham crackers or digestives).
Step 2: Combine the biscuit crumbs with melted butter. You’re looking for a uniform, damp texture.
Step 3: Spread the mixture on the base of your pan (always use spring-form for cheesecakes to reduce mess).
Step 4: Press and pack tightly and then set to bake.
Whip up the filling
Step 5: While the crust bakes, smoothen your cream with a spatula and add powdered sugar. I simply ground regular white sugar to a powder, and it worked like a charm.
Step 6: Add in Greek yogurt and follow it by beating 2 eggs, one at a time.
Step 7: Next go in your flour and vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste). Whisk, whisk, whisk till you have a nice, creamy-textured batter.
Step 8: Dice your peaches (don’t skin them) and toss them with a handful of flour. The flour coating ensures that the fruit doesn’t sink right to the bottom of the cheesecake.
Slide the cheesecake into the oven to bake
Step 9: Fold the peaches in the batter and pour it into your pan.
Step 10: At this point, you can bake the cake as is or top it with more peaches. In either case, bake on a low, gentle heat for 1 hour.
Step 11: Cool, chill and serve the next day!
One thing I’ll like to bring to your notice is that this cheesecake recipe does not require any equipment. One bowl, a spatula, and a whisk are all you need to make this peach dessert. Not even an electric beater.
Why? Because all the ingredients are at room temperature.
And that’s the first trick to making this sublime cake. The second is using low heat.
Typically, cheesecakes are baked in a water bath to regulate the temperature. That’s how they get their creamy mouthfeel that is similar to a dense custard rather than a cake crumb without breaking the surface. But I’ve found that baking at a lower heat and for longer works in the same way.
A peach cheesecake is not a thing to rush
Cheesecakes need patience. In the oven and out of it. And that’s the third trick. Cool them gradually, if you’re not using a water bath, and they won’t fissure like an iceberg.
I opened the oven a tad at the 40-min mark to check the peach cheesecake. At 60 minutes, when the center was wobbling and the peaches were golden and caramelized (that’s how you know it’s done), I left the oven door ajar and the cake alone for 1 hour, after switching off the heat.
After that, it was 1 more hour on the countertop, followed by a night in the fridge. It’s an easy cheesecake, but it does need to be chilled well, at least 8 hours.
The longer the cake sits undisturbed after baking, the less likely it will crack. So, don’t fiddle with it. That said, I’ve baked plenty of cheesecakes with all sorts of cracks.
They don’t take anything away from the taste. You just put some fruit compote on top and the cake looks great! Like me, if you can juice the most out of your peachy love with this peach compote:
- Dice the peaches (I didn’t even bother to peel them)
- Cook them in water with half a vanilla bean and sugar (the amount depends on how sweet your fruits are)
- Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, till the peaches have softened, and the thick compote is speckled with vanilla
- For a brighter taste, squeeze a splash of lemon juice
- Or to lift the flavors, add whiskey, rum, or brandy (like I did)
Garnish the cake with the compote and serve. This step is elective, feel free to serve the peach dessert as-is or with a dusting of icing sugar.
Peach cheesecake recipe variations
Sugar: Regular, raw, or confectioner’s sugar all work.
- 1 1/4 cup Marie biscuits, crushed
- 1/3 cup ( 75 gms) Butter, melted
- 2 cups ( 450 gms) Cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup ( 115 gms) Powdered sugar
- 2 Eggs, beaten ( room temperature)
- 1/3 cup ( 90 gms) Plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup ( 32 gms) All-purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
- 4 Peaches, diced
- 2 tsp All-purpose flour, for tossing the diced peaches
- 2 Peaches, diced
- 1/3 cup (80 gms) Water
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 Vanilla bean
- 1 tbsp Rum or any other alcohol ( Optional)
- Preheat your oven to 180C. Cover the bottom and sides of your 8" springform pan with aluminum foil.
- Combine the melted butter and crushed cookies in a small bowl. This mixture should have the consistency of wet sand.
- Press it down evenly at the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 160C while you're preparing for the filling.
- Soften the cream cheese using a spatula, in a large bowl.
- Add the sugar. Mix well.
- Now whisk in 2 beaten eggs, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour.
- Mix well until smooth and creamy.
- Toss the diced peaches with 2 tsp of flour and fold into the batter.
- Pour into the prepared crust. Place some extra chopped peaches on top if you wish.
- Carefully place in the oven and bake at 160C for 55-60 minutes. The top of the cake should look cooked and the center should be a bit wobbly. My cake took 60 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and slightly crack the door open and allow it to cool for 60 minutes.
- Let the cake cool on the countertop for another hour and then refrigerate for at least 8 hours for it to set completely. Remove carefully from the pan, and place it on your serving plate.
- Spoon over the peach compote and top with a couple of basil leaves.
- Slice and enjoy!
- Combine diced peaches, water, sugar, and half a vanilla bean in a small saucepan.
- Cook on medium heat until the peaches are soft and cooked through.
- Take the pan off the heat and add a tablespoon of rum. This is completely optional. Let cool before topping the cheesecake.