Deb Perlman’s recipe for Almond-Crisped Peaches left me salivating. I read her blog regularly and refer to her Smitten Kitchen cookbook frequently. If you’re not familiar with her blog,
you’ve been living under a rock, you really must swing on over there and check it out. Her posts always leave me smiling and often inspired, as I was when I read this one.
Laura had requested my Goat Cheesecake for her birthday cake. While I usually top it with fresh berries, her end-of-August birthday corresponds with peach season here. I decided to adapt Smitten Kitchen’s Almond Crisped Peaches and use it as a cheesecake topping. It was apparently a good idea, according to those around the table.
For the cheesecake:
- Unsalted butter (to grease the pan)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 12 ounces fresh soft goat cheese at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (use a microplane to grate it finely)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
For the topping:
- 4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup unblanched whole almonds
- 1/4 cup sugar (I used Turbinado, but granulated would do)
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Optional extras: 1/4 cup quick oats, pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with sugar, tapping out any excess.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and 3/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks two at a time, beating to blend and scraping down sides of bowl between additions. Reduce speed to low, add flour, and mix just until blended.
- Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold 1/4 of egg whites into goat cheese mixture just until blended; fold in remaining egg whites just until blended. Scrape into prepared pan and tap pan to level batter.
- Wrap base of pan in foil. Bake cheesecake until top is set but still jiggles slightly in the center, and edges are beginning to brown lightly, 35–40 minutes. Turn off the oven heat and let it sit on the open oven door for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool in pan.
In the meantime, prepare the topping:
- Combine the almonds, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor, pulsing till finely chopped, leaving a few chunks. Then pulse in butter and optional ingredients. Spread the chopped peaches on a lightly greased baking dish, top with the crumbly almond mixture and bake at 375 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes until peaches are tender and topping is lightly browned. Cool completely.
- Run a thin knife around sides of pan; unmold the cheesecake and transfer to a serving plate. Carefully scoop the cooled peach-almond crumble topping from the baking dish and arrange on top of the cooled cheesecake.