PEACH + GINGER BAKED CHEESECAKE
GLUTEN FREE OPTION | SERVES 6-8
Despite what the song says, peaches don’t come from a can, put there by a man, in a factory down town. I created this recipe a couple of months ago for the lovely Mira at Divine Fruits. Divine Fruits is a small business that helps represent regional fruit growers. Mira shares their stories and the unique qualities of the produce, including how and when it’s been harvested. I made this luscious dessert using Kumbia peaches, both the yellow and white varieties. Being from Brisbane, it was such a treat to cook with stunning produce grown so close to home (Kumbia is located north-west of Brisbane in the South-Burnett region). I loved how the cheeks of the white peaches transformed into different shades of pink after poaching, and how the skins stained the syrup. If you haven’t tried peach and ginger together as a flavour combination - I seriously recommend giving this recipe a go! I’ve also provided a gluten free alternative by simply replacing the biscuits with a gluten free biccie. Or feel free to skip the cheesecake part altogether, and just follow the poaching recipe. Serve the peeled peaches with lashings of fresh cream and you have yourself a simple, but downright delicious dessert.
250g gingernut biscuits*
125g butter, melted
500g cream cheese
3/4 cup thickened cream
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 free-range eggs
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp vanilla bean extract
8 ripe peaches
1 cup caster sugar
3cm fresh ginger, sliced
1 vanilla bean
1 star anise
1 cinnamon quid
1/2 tsp cardamon seeds
Preheat oven to 160*C. Grease and line a 22cm springform cake tin. Place ginger nut biscuits into a food processor and blend into a fine crumb. Add melted butter and mix together well. Evenly press biscuit mixture over the base of the prepared tin. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until firm.
Meanwhile, mix together cream cheese, cream, sugar, eggs, ginger and vanilla until smooth. Pour mixture over chilled biscuit base. Place in the oven to bake for 1 hour. Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature inside the oven. Once cool, transfer to the refrigerator to set for 2-3 hours or overnight.
Cut peaches in half and remove seeds. Place 1L of water into a saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Place peaches skin side down into liquid and cook gently for 10 minutes. Remove from liquid using a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Cover with cling film and allow to cool. Once cool, peel and discard skin from peach halves.
Bring poaching liquid to a boil. Reduce liquid into a syrup. Strain through a sieve and allow to cool. Return peaches to liquid.
To serve, remove cheesecake from springform tin. Spoon over peaches and poaching syrup. Serve chilled. Enjoy!
To make this recipe gluten free, simply replace the gingernut biscuits with a gluten free ginger biscuit available from the gluten free section of your local supermarket or health food store.