This recipe uses a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar topping.  To see a photo, click here on torch.  To see instructions using a broiler rather than a torch click here on broiler)

Sweet, flavorful freestone peaches sliced over the top of creamy cheesecakes add both favor and texture.  Other possible fruit toppings, depending on the season, are blueberries, strawberries or tart cherries. 
If you are in the mood for cheesecake but have no seasonal fruit on hand,  use a. crème brûlée topping.  (See e.g. Clinkerdagger’s Burnt Crème or Banana Crème Brûlée)

Crème Fraîche Cheesecakes with Freestone Peaches

12 ounces cream cheese
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 ounces crème fraîche  *   
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup sugar                                           
2 eggs
6 canned freestone peach halves
¼ cup  liquid from can (use fresh, if possible)                                         
¼ cup heavy cream                                  
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                               
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

Preheat oven to 325° F.  

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, crème fraîche and ½  cup sugar; beat on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, cream and vanilla; beat until smooth. In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and the remaining
¼ cup sugar; stir until blended and divide graham cracker mixture among four mini-springform pans.+
With the back of a spoon, spread mixture smoothly onto the bottom of each pan and divide filling among pans. Bake until filling is set, 15-18 min. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least 3 hours. 
With the tip of a knife, cut slices, about
¼ " apart, into 4 of the peach halves, keeping the peach halves intact at one end. Arrange a peach half over each mini-cheesecake, fanning the peach decoratively over the top. 
In a blender, combine remaining 2 peach halves, peach liquid and mint, and process into a fine puree. Serve sauce alongside cheese
Yield:   4 mini-cheesecakes or one full-size cheesecake.+   

If you cannot buy prepared crème fraîche or prefer to make your own, click  instructions for making crème fraîche
+ You can use a regular 6-8 cup capacity springform pan rather than the four, 1 1/2-cup capacity min-springform pans specified in the recipe.  
(Above recipe was adapted from an ad for mini-cheesecake pans and, of course, kitchen torches, in a catalog.)

You can find the above recipe(s) by tapping here on the Home Cookin' index.


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