Friday, September 9, 2011

Peach Cream Cheese Pie

This weekend we fixed a sort of end-of-summer dinner for Sami's parents at their house. We used our grill to cook some lamb, there was yummy potato salad, and I made this cream cheese pie.

Observant readers will note that this recipe is exactly the same as the blueberry cream cheese pie that I made earlier this summer, only with peaches. I kind of planned it this way, knowing there would still be peaches here in September, but no blueberries. 

It's interesting, though--despite being the same recipe, the different ingredients (even the Philadelphia cream cheese that I can now buy here seems different!) makes it seem like a new dessert. The cinnamon in the crust kind of dominated, to the point where my mother-in-law commented, "Wow, Americans sure like cinnamon in their desserts, don't they?"

Still, the pie was a big hit and had disappeared without a trace by the next morning. I recommend you make it soon, before the peaches of summer are gone.

Here's the recipe.

Peach Cream Cheese Pie

1-1/4 c. (5 oz. or 1 cello pack) graham cracker crumbs (I used digestive biscuits)
1 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon (consider using less)
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ginger
Pinch allspice
6 T. (3 oz.) butter, melted
(alternatively: 1 pkg. zwieback
1/4 c. (1 oz.) powdered sugar
6 T (3 oz.) butter)

Heat the oven to 375. Line a 9-inch pie plate with foil. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and butter (if you're using a food processor to make the crumbs, just mix it all in the processor). Pat the crumbs in the foil-lined pan to form an even layer on the bottom and as far up the sides as you can go. Bake for 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then freeze at least 1 hour. When the crust is frozen solid, pull it carefully out of the pan by the foil and then carefully peel the foil off. Return the crust to the pan. Keep it at room temperature while you make the filling (especially if you have a glass pan--you don't want it to crack going from frozen to hot!).

12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. (3.5 oz.) sugar
1/3 c. (2.7 oz.) cream, sour cream, or crème fraîche
2 large eggs

Heat the oven to 350. In a mixer, or in the food processor you just used, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and sugar and again beat until smooth. Add the cream and then the eggs, one at a time, beating just until smooth but not going for fluffy/airy. Pour the filling in the crust and bake 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and then chill at least an hour.

3 large peaches, peeled and thick-sliced
About 1/2 c. (5 oz.) apricot jam
1/4 t. almond extract (I didn't use this because the French put a bit of apricot pit in their jam)

Put the jam in a microwave-safe cup and zap it for about a minute: it should come to a full boil. Strain the jam and add the almond extract. Immediately brush a thin layer on top of the cheese filling. Arrange the peach slices in a decorative spiral (hopefully more decorative than mine) atop the jam, and then brush the peaches with the rest of the jam. Chill at least a few hours or overnight.

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