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Archive for the ‘Peaches’ Category

Sitelle and I have been negligent posting as of late.  She has been off camping in Northern Ontario, while I moved back to Halifax to continue writing my thesis.  Now that the boxes are unpacked, my kitchen is back in full working order, so I am ready to get busy in the kitchen!

Two of my close friends celebrated their birthdays in the last few weeks.  The birthday girls decided on peach cheesecake, so I tackled baking the second cheesecake of my life.  While I love cheesecake, it seemed like such a finicky dessert that I largely avoided baking it.  I found a recipe on Epicurious that looked both simple and delicious.  The recipe below is a slight modification of the original recipe, incorporating a few changes reviewers recommended.

This is a New-York style cheesecake that bursts with autumn flavour.  The peaches add a little panache while the cake itself is decadent and smooth.  Making the cheesecake is fairly simple, although with so many steps, it can be time intensive. This is a great recipe to make ahead – the flavours only intensify if you refrigerate it for a day or two!

Peach Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

(9-inch cheesecake, about 12 slices)

Ingredients:

Crust:

1/2 package gingersnap cookies (about 1/2 pound)

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Pinch of cinnamon

Compote:

5 peaches, peeled, pitted, sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Cheesecake filling:

32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (that’s 4 cups, or 4 8-ounce packages)

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Glaze:

1/2 cup peach jam

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 large peach, peeled, pitted, very thinly sliced

Directions:

For crust:

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.  Coarsely grind gingersnap cookies in food processor. Add ginger, cinnamon, and butter and blend until moistened. Press crumbs over bottom and 1 inch up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake crust until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Cool on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

For filling:

Combine peaches, 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon juice in heavy large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and peaches are juicy, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until peaches are tender and juices thicken, about 5 minutes.  Place compote in freezer and cool until at room temperature.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Spoon a generous half of cheese mixture (about 4 cups) into crust. Spoon peach compote over by tablespoonfuls, spacing apart. Top with remaining cheese mixture.

Bake cheesecake until puffed, set in center, and beginning to brown, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off oven with the cheesecake still inside, and allow the oven to cool (I left mine in overnight). Remove cheesecake from oven and cover.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

For glaze:
Combine jam and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until glaze just comes to simmer. Strain into small bowl. Release pan sides; place cheesecake on platter. Spread glaze over top of cheesecake to within 1/4 inch of edge. Chill cheesecake until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours. Just before serving, arrange peach slices in center of cake.

Bon appetit!

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Peach Pie

You know you have had a spoiled week when you get to eat peach pie twice in one week.  Ontario peaches are at their height, so it is certainly worth enjoying them!

 

This past weekend, two of my closest high school friends visited Ottawa – one who currently lives in Vancouver and the other who had spent a large part of her last two years in Switzerland and Italy.  We spent a lovely weekend at my cottage with two other good friends, where among playing cards, canoeing and swimming, we ate a delicious peach pie for dessert.

 

This past week was the last for my summer practicum.  With ripe peaches in the kitchen and skies threatening rain (suggesting perhaps I should drive instead of risk a 30 km bicycle commute), I decided to bring in a peach pie to share with my colleagues.  I am sad to be leaving my position, but also excited to soon be back in Halifax to work full time on my thesis.

 

This peach pie is remarkably simple, without other spices, allowing the peaches’ flavour to shine through.   The riper the peaches, the juicier your pie will be.  Served with a touch of ice cream, you certainly cannot go wrong. Bon appétit!

Peach Pie

(one 9 inch pie, about 8 slices)

 

Ingredients:

1 sweet piecrust, plus extra for a lattice  or top crust if desired

8 ripe peaches

half a lemon

¾ cup of white sugar

¼ cup flour

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.

 

Meanwhile scald the peaches . (To scald them, place the ripe peaches in a large bowl and cover with boiling water.   Allow them to sit for a minute or two, before using a paring knife to gently peel away the skin, which should mostly fall off).

 

Slice them into a bowl before adding the sugar, flour and lemon juice.  Add a little extra flour if the peaches are particularly ripe and juicy.

 

Transfer the mixture into the rolled out piecrust.  Weave the lattice over the peach filling.  Bake the pie for about 45 minutes or until the pie is bubbling and crust is lightly browned.   (If you are worried that the filling will boil over, place a tray on the oven rack underneath the cooking pie).  Cool and serve!

 

– Catherine

 

 

 

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