🍑 Bourbon Peach Crumble Cheesecake 🍑
Summer is at a close, and with the changing of the seasons must come a changing of the fresh ingredients available, and thus a change in menu!! You know what that means, EVERYTHING pumpkin spice.
This summer was one of long, aimless drives and tons of fresh peaches. During quarantine I would drive all the way up to River Road, most often times finding myself at Lewis Orchards, a staple of my childhood. My mom used to drive me and my sister up there in the convertible with the top down to buy fresh corn, peaches, and any other kind of produce you can think of. I just recently made my last run up there and got my last peaches of the summer, but was lacking any sort of inspiration for what to make. Then, I was in my virtual zoom choir class and I was struck with inspiration!
Our lovely professor, or as I like to call her, my college mom, has many different ways of demonstrating how to pronounce the words in our choral arrangements. My favorite phrase and the one that inspired me was her description of "cheesecake words". This isn't a technical term that we voice students use; it's very specific to her and the Rhodes women's choir. In short, a cheesecake word has to do with pronunciation. You wouldn't pronounce cheesecake with the emphasis on "cake", you say "CHEESEcake". Just like the word "pleasure". Its pronounced PLEAsure, not pleaSURE. Think Wingardium Leviosa.
My point is, I decided to make a cheesecake 😂.
I started out by preparing my pan. Please do not do what I did. Putting Reynolds wrap in the bottom will result in the slicing of the cake at the end to be way more difficult than it should have been. Instead, simply spray PAM or butter the bottom of the springform pan.
I made a very simple graham cracker crust, ingredients seen to the right.
Look at that beautiful butter pour 😂.
Then my less beautiful crust pour....
The mix should be crumbly enough to still have some texture, but with enough butter to hold the shape of the crust.
Do a fun little *pat* with your finger tips and spread the crust evenly across the bottom of the springform pan, and up the sides until it looks even and uniform (and pretty if you can).
My interpretation of a pretty crust.
A side note, be careful when bringing the pan in and out of the oven, as grazing the top of the crust can knock bits off and end up a bit uneven. I put her in the oven until she was a bit browned and smelling nutty, around 8-10 minutes.
Pro tip: take a pupper break while your crust is baking.
I also collecting all the ingredients for the next step: the base of the cheesecake. The only bourbon my father had was Gentleman Jack, but you can use a cheaper bourbon and it will do the job just as well! I also used creme fraiche, but you could easily use sour cream!
Take out the beautiful brown crust to cool as you mix up the cheesecake mix! It should be creamy and smooth. All that cinnamon and brown sugar make for the best beginning of fall flavor, don't be afraid of some fall ✨ spice ✨ in your life.
I cut up those beautiful peaches next, and prepared the crumble mixture.
I covered the peaches in some more cinnamon and brown sugar to keep with that fall vibe, as well as some regular granulated sugar to draw out some more sweetness to counterbalance the tartness that fresh peaches carry.
Pro tip: these peaches were still very hard, not quite ripe enough. I highly recommend waiting until your peaches are soft to the touch so that they melt in the mouth instead of having a bite to them-- this keeps with the texture of the cheesecake and is a bit more luxurious.
The crumble was a mix of flour, cinnamon, and more brown sugar. This adds a really nice texture to the smooth cream cheese base and glossy peaches.
ANOTHER beautiful butter action shot.
Mix up that crumble till it looks as so. You don't want huge chunks, but you don't want the mixture to be totally fine or it won't really be a crumble.
This is the ARTSY part!! My fav part 😋
I put down a layer of the cream cheese mixture, then fanned out the peaches in a pretty design, fitting as many on that layer as would fit so to pack a surprise peach flavor within the cake.
I then covered that layer in most of the crumble, then poured the rest of the cheesecake mixture over top!
Pro tip: when baking a cheesecake, you often put it in a water bath to evenly cook. Make sure your springform pan is completely wrapped in aluminum for to prevent that water from leaking in!
This time it's an EPIC water pour!
Ten minutes before the final timer went off, I pulled the cake out and added an extra layer of the peach and the crumble, then used the broiler to caramelize the top and get this really nice sugary topping to contrast the more tart peaches on the inside. (I think she came out super pretty if I do say so myself).
The cooling of a cheesecake is super important; you don't want it to crack! So the key is to slowly cool your cake down in the oven, almost like you would with a pavlova! (lol see my last blog post for more pavlova tips 😋)
The next and final step is the topping- a cinnamon whipped cream that rounds the entire cake off! It's a simple whipped cream recipe, with an addition of that cinnamon and my favorite ingredient, vanilla!
Mix 'er all up and please try not to splatter it all over the kitchen like I did.
Pro tip: I use this technique whenever I am piping anything. I use the cups from my Ninja blender to fill my pastry bags, as it holds the bag in such a way that lets me get as much cream as I need all the way down to the tip without making a mess. (Yes I fill it over the max, wow, such a rebel).
This is my favorite tip to use! I have professional piping tips, but this one is from the Giant baking aisle. I use it to ice the BLM cupcakes, my Smores cupcakes, and the peach cobbler cupcakes! It creates a pretty floral finish, or a really nice, sharp swirl depending on the piping technique.You don't have to buy the expensive stuff to have pretty bakes!
The next step is to carefully take the cake out of the springform pan to decorate! You want to do this after the cake has cooled a bit so that the crust doesn't completely disintegrate (you can see bits of mine fell apart).
Also, peep my pupper there in the back.
The final step was to pipe the whipped cream! I did a simple circle around the edge because I didn't want to cover up the beautiful peach design in the center. Make sure you squeeze down from the top of the pastry bag, applying equal pressure so each floret is an even size and shape.
Sit back and enjoy the final product!!
I cut into the cake prematurely because I am not patient, and wanted it in. my. mouth. I would recommend putting it in the fridge to chill a bit before slicing so you get a cleaner, more solid slice of cake.
Overall, I loved this cheesecake. It was totally different from any others I have made or tried before. The peaches, though a bit too crunchy, were tart and fresh against the sweet and cinnamony cheesecake filling. The crumble and the graham cracker crust offered a nice textural contrast, and brought about a nostalgic feeling of the end of summer and beginning of fall.
I hope you all enjoy your final days of summer and the beginning of the longer, cooler days. Check the menu on my site for all new, fall themed desserts as we head into the holiday season. I am so excited to offer you all a plethora of holiday desserts!
Life may kinda suck right now, but just remember, there is always cake! And I am here to provide the cake to make life just a little less sucky 😋.