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Smooth and creamy homemade cheesecake filled with a ribbon of fresh cooked peaches.
Happy #NationalCheesecakeDay 2021 hosted by, well, me! Let’s celebrate this delicious day with our favorite cheesecake recipes– from fruity to chocolatey and mini to InstantPot, we’ve got you covered for your next cheesecake need! See below for lots of other tasty cheesecake recipes from my friends around the blogosphere.
If you are even remotely a cheesecake fan, I’m going to need you to drop everything, run to your local fresh produce store/stand/whatever, and grab some fresh peaches.
And if it’s not peach season for you right now, either geographically or seasonally, you can absolutely use frozen (thawed) peaches, and there are instructions for that in the recipe.
Ever since my first encounter with a cheesecake from scratch (hello, funfetti cheesecake!), I feel like I always have cheesecake on the brain now. I was totally intimidated by water baths and cracks and craters and thought it was a really scary thing to make.
It turns out that it’s very simple, and many things that I learned while making that funfetti cheesecake have served me well through more scratch cheesecake recipes, so we’ll be making this peaches and cream cheesecake like pros in no time!
MAKE THE PEACH FILLING
In this particular peach cheesecake, we’re giving the cheesecake its peachiness via a cooked peach concoction.
This simple peach filling is made with fresh peaches, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice which you’ll combine into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, you’ll remove some of the juice to combine with cornstarch, which will thicken the cooked peaches into a sturdy filling. Simply remove some of the warm liquid, add it to a bowl with the cornstarch, stir it up until it’s smooth, and then add it back into the sauce. Simple!
This cooked peach mixture will be the filling for the cheesecake, but if you also want to use some of it as additional topping so you’ve got some peach cheesecake with peach topping, there are instructions for how to scale the filling in the recipe.
Now that we’re all settled with the filling, it’s time to start building the actual cheesecake.
USE A SIMPLE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
Every good cheesecake starts with a good solid crust. In the case of this peach cheesecake, I chose a traditional graham cracker crust. Nothing fancy and nothing out of the ordinary.
Press that into the pan, then bake it while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
USE ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS FOR CHEESECAKE
You’ll want all of your ingredients to be totally room temperature. If anything is a little too chilled, you risk getting bumps in your cheesecake filling. We want everything nice and smooth, so plan ahead so that your ingredients have enough time to warm up.
While the majority of the peach filling will be used to make a ribbon of peaches throughout the whole cheesecake, we will use some of it to flavor the cream cheese portion of the cheesecake. Just 3 Tablespoons of the peach filling will be enough to lightly flavor the cheesecake and distribute some peachy bites.
HOW TO MAKE PEACH CHEESECAKE
Once the cheesecake batter is ready, it’s time to assemble this epic peach cheesecake situation, and I promise, it’s simple.
You’ll pour about ⅓ of the cheesecake filling into the pre-baked graham cracker crust.
On top of that, you’ll evenly layer the remaining peach filling. This does not have to be perfect or beautiful, just try to spread it out as evenly as you can.
Next up, pour the rest of the cheesecake filling on top of the layer of peach filling, cover any peaches that may be peeking out, and then you’re ready to bake!
MAKE A SIMPLE WATER BATH
A water bath does not need to be complicated, and I learned this tip about putting together a water bath that makes it SO simple.
I go into a bit more detail in the recipe (and provide a link to the exact pans I use), but the 9″ springform pan goes into a 10″ cake pan, which all goes into a 12″ cake pan that holds the water.
No foil, no large roasting pans. Easy peasy!
Low and slow is the name of the cheesecake baking game, and this will take about 90 minutes to fully bake.
Once it’s done, you’ll turn off the oven and allow the peach cheesecake to cool with the oven door cracked, then again for a couple hours on the counter.
This slow cooling process almost 100% insures no cracks or craters in your cheesecake, so I promise, the time and patience is worth it!
My gosh, y’all– this peach cheesecake was UNREAL good. The cheesecake filling is smooth and flavorful, and the ribbon of peaches going in and out of each bite was such a fun texture for this texture lover.
Up against that slightly salty graham cracker crust, this cheesecake had almost a peach cobbler- or peach crisp-esque taste to it. And of course, the perfect peach cheesecake topping was my peach curd, because if we’re going all out with peaches in a dessert, we’re going ALL OUT with peaches.
This was loved by all who tried it, and I think it’s the perfect summer cheesecake to feature one of summer’s best fruits. I know it can be hard to want to turn on the oven when it’s hot out (hello, no bake mini cheesecake bites!), but I would not steer you wrong– this peach cheesecake is worth every bead of sweat!
More #NationalCheesecakeDay Recipes
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake from House of Nash Eats
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake from That Recipe
- Easy No Bake Cheesecake from Salt & Baker
- Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes from Making Miracles
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake from Devour Dinner
- Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Instant Pot Vanilla Cheesecake from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Easy No Bake Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar from Blogghetti
- Strawberry Cheesecake from Life Love and Good Food
- Mini Oreo Cheesecakes from Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
- Instant Pot Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- No Bake Fresh Mint Cheesecake from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Mini S’mores Cheesecakes from The Freshman Cook
- Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake Bars from The Spiffy Cookie
- Mocha Cheesecake from The Redhead Baker
- 3 cups sliced peaches1 about 4 large peaches
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 and ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- 1 and ½ cups (155g) graham cracker crumbs approximately 10 full rectangles
- 2 and ½ Tablespoons (31g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter melted
- 24 ounces (675g) full fat block cream cheese completely softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (45mL) heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces (140g) Greek yogurt or sour cream about ½ cup
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
- Add the peaches and butter to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and allow the butter to melt.
- When the butter is completely melted, stir in the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla and allow the peaches to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low.
- Remove one Tablespoon of peach syrup from the saucepan and place in a small bowl. Whisk the cornstarch into the peach syrup until completely combined. When the mixture is smooth and thick, add it to the saucepan with the peaches, then stir to combine.
- Cook the peaches for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the syrup has thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon) and the peaches are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator, about 30 minutes2.
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF (162ºC). Spray a 9" springform pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a food processor, crush the graham crackers until they become a fine crumb. Pour the crushed graham crackers into a large bowl, add the sugar and melted butter, and stir to combine.
- Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan, then bake the graham cracker crust for 6-8 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar then beat again until combined, about another 2 minutes.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low3, then add the heavy cream, yogurt or sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix until completely combined. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing on low until eggs are just combined.
- Remove 3 Tablespoons of the cooked peaches and add to cheesecake filling. Fold the peaches in gently with a spatula until just combined. Your batter should be smooth and creamy without lumps, aside from some small peach pieces.
- Pour ⅓ of the batter into the prepared pan, spoon the peaches on top of the cheesecake batter, then top with remaining cheesecake batter. Smooth out the top of the cheesecake and try to cover any peach filling that may be peeking out.
- Create a water bath4 by placing the 9" springform pan in a slightly larger round pan (I like to use a 10" cake pan) and then place that pan into an even larger round pan (I like to use a 12" cake pan) or roasting pan.
- Fill the outer pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the middle pan, then carefully transfer the whole thing to the oven.
- Bake the cheesecake for 80-90 minutes. The middle of the cheesecake (a center approximately 2" wide) should jiggle just a little bit. I use my digital instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature has reached 145ºF (63ºC). Turn the oven off5 and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the springform pan from all of the other pans and allow to cool on a cooling rack for another 2 hours. When the cheesecake is completely cool, cover or wrap tightly and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.
- Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and use a spatula or butter knife to gently loosen the crust from the side of the pan, then release the outer ring of the springform pan.
- Fresh peaches: if you want to use frozen peaches, thaw completely and discard any excess water.
- Preparing the peaches: I prefer to do this ahead of time to cut down on waiting for the peaches to chill. Peach filling can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept covered tightly in the refrigerator.
- Mixer speed: it’s important not to go above low (or low-medium) speed after you’ve beaten the cream cheese. Incorporating too much air will create bubbles and potential cracks in your finished cheesecake.
- Water bath pans: here is a bundle that includes all the pans I use. Using this method eliminates the need to wrap anything in foil.
- Cool the cheesecake: I like to prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Peach filling as topping: you can double the recipe for the peach filling and only layer half of it into the cheesecake, reserving the other half of the peaches for topping. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.