Fresh Peach Cheesecake Tart

by moderndomestic on August 16, 2010

Fresh Peach Cheesecake Tart

There's really nothing better than fresh peaches. So why cook them?

Peaches are tricky. They’re probably one of my favorite fruits, but I think they’re difficult to bake with. It’s not because they’re not delicious. But they’re so delicious on their own, I find most desserts don’t really improve them. Fresh peaches – eaten whole or in slices – have a delicate, peachy flavor that can disappear when they’re cooked. And the flavor is so delicate it can be overshadowed by more aggressive flavors.

I knew I wanted to make a tart – partly to use the peaches I picked on the Treet field trip, and party to practice my pâte brisée making skills. So I decided to make a cheesecake tart and top it with fresh peaches. Yes, the original recipe called for the fruit to be cooked right along with the filling, but peaches don’t really need that type of treatment. They’re perfect just as they are.

This is a lovely way to use fresh fruit – the cheesecake filling is just tart enough to bring out the peach flavor, and the flaky crust gives a lovely textural contrast. The recipe is long but don’t fret – everything is simple enough to do. You’re using fresh peaches, after all, so you can’t really go wrong.

Fresh Peach Cheesecake Tart 2

So, that crust is still a little wonky. If you freeze yours before you bake it it should turn out much prettier.

Fresh Peach Cheesecake Tart
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, By Julia Child and The Pie And Pastry Bible, By Rose Levy Beranbaum
Makes one 9 inch tart


For the Pate Brisee
1 cup (5 oz) flour
3 oz (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 oz (2 tbs) vegetable shortening, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3 to 4 1/2 tbs iced water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar

For the cheesecake filling
3 1/2 tbs cream cheese
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
3 tbs sugar
1 egg white
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp Grand Marnier

5 medium peaches, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup peach or apricot preserves

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Freeze the flour mixture, butter, shortening, and the processor blade for 1/2 hour before using. Fit the blade on the processor, and then add the flour mixture, butter, and shortening to the bowl. Pulse a couple of time, in five second bursts – until the butter and shortening are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 3 tbs of the water over the flour mixture and pulse until the dough just comes together. If necessary, add more water one teaspoon at a time. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll between lightly floured pieces of parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick. Place in a lightly greased 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and gently press into the corners and sides of the mold with your fingers. Cut off excess dough by rolling your rolling pin over the top of the tart pan.

Weight crust down by placing a piece of parchment or buttered foil (butter side down) on the pie crust and filling the top with rice, dried beans, or pie weights. Bake crust for 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment/foil and prick the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork (this will stop the crust from rising up). Bake for 5-10 minutes more, until the bottom of the crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Turn down oven to 375.

For the filling, process the cream cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar in the food processor until smooth. Add the egg yolks, egg white, heavy cream, and Grand Marnier and gently pulse until just combined (the mixture will still be slightly lumpy). Pour into prepared crust and bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is slightly puffed and lightly browned. Place on a rack to cool completely and then chill for at least 1 hour before unmolding.

Place the peach or apricot preserves in a small saucepan and heat until runny (if the preserves are still thick then thin with a little water). Strain into a clean bowl.

Fan peach slices over the top of the tart in a decorative pattern. Lightly brush the peaches with the preserves. Serve cool.

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Around the Internet Kitchen: Feelin’ Lucky? | Macheesmo
August 20, 2010 at 6:02 am
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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

mary August 17, 2010 at 6:05 am

Stunning. It’s edible art, but I think it would be hard to eat it. Instead you should drop it in resin and put it on your windowsill for forever.


Nick (Macheesmo) August 17, 2010 at 10:08 am

I’m not sure I could even eat this it’s so pretty.

Ok. I could. But seriously stunning.


iEatDC August 17, 2010 at 10:37 am

That is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL.


Kaydee August 17, 2010 at 12:21 pm

That is the most beautiful tart I’ve ever seen!!! It looks tasty to :)


Olga @ MangoTomato August 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm

gorgeous! ♥ (that’s all I wanted to say, but wordpress said my comment is too short…what’s up with that!?)


moderndomestic August 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Aww, it’s not too short for me!

Seriously, people, I should do a demo on how to make the peach topping. It’s not hard at all – anyone can do it!


Tania August 20, 2010 at 7:42 am

wow – this is stunning! found your link on Macheesmo – will be back!


Peggy August 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

It’s almost too beautiful to eat! Love that you didn’t cook the peaches!


Lora August 20, 2010 at 12:36 pm

This is a work of art.


Wanda August 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm

just bought beautiful organic peaches and wanted to use on top of cheese cake, thank you thank you. sounds so delish!


Iddil Bekirov September 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Beautiful Jenna!


Sunam May 27, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I started making this, and just now realized my peaches don’t taste good. EEK! Any other fruit recommendations to put on top? I was so excited to make this dessert and cannot bear the thought of topping it with blah peaches!


moderndomestic May 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

First, you can try slicing your peaches and then tossing them with a little sugar and lemon and see if that brightens up the flavor. If not, fresh berries would be great – sliced strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries would be excellent. You could also use any other soft fruit, like nectarines, apricots, or kiwis. Good luck!


Noelle P September 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

This is beautiful! I love the crust, very rustic looking. I will now proceed to rifle through the rest of your website.


Katrina December 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Did you ever do that demo on how to do the topping? How do you get them to stand up like that? beautiful!


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