Leiths’ Peach Melba Cheesecake

Peach Melba Cheesecake 2

This peach melba cheesecake is as easy on the eye as it is on the tastebuds. Seasonality and quality of ingredients are key here, as you need fragrant, juicy stone fruit and berries that are in their prime.

Serves 8-10

For the base:
• 85g unsalted butter
• 85g digestive biscuits
• 85g ginger nut biscuits
• 1 ball preserved stem ginger in syrup, drained

For the filling:
• 120g raspberries
• 2 tablespoons icing sugar
• 150ml creme fraiche
• 600g cream cheese
• 55g golden caster sugar
• 2 tablespoons cornflour
• 2 eggs
• 2 extra yolks
• 150ml peach nectar

For the topping:
• 3 ripe peaches
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 120g raspberries

For the glaze:
• 5 tablespoons peach jam
• 1/2 lemon, juiced

Peach Melba Cheesecake

1 Heat the oven to 200°C.
2 To make the base, melt the butter. Put the biscuits into a strong plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin, or whiz briefly in a food processor and tip into a bowl.
3 Chop the preserved stem ginger finely, add it to the bowl with the melted butter and mix everything together.
4 Press this mixture over the base of the tin and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.
5 Meanwhile, to make the filling, put the raspberries in a small bowl, sprinkle over the icing sugar and set aside. In a separate, large bowl, beat the crème fraîche into the cream cheese with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.
6 Add the sugar, cornflour, eggs and extra yolks and the peach nectar to the creamed mixture and beat well until combined.
7 Crush the raspberries lightly with the back of a fork, just enough to release some of their juices, but not to break them up, and add them to the cream cheese mixture.
8 Stir them through the mixture quickly and lightly, using a large metal spoon. Do not over-mix; the mixture should have little pockets of raspberries and swirls of marbled raspberry juice running through it.
9 Pour over the biscuit base and bake in the lower half of the oven for 45–60 minutes, or until the filling has just set; there should be a slight uniform wobble. Leave to cool in the tin, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
10 Meanwhile, to prepare the topping, cut the peaches in half, remove the stones and cut each peach half into 5 or 6 slices.
11 Put the peach slices into a bowl, pour in the lemon juice and stir gently to coat each peach slice.
12 To make the glaze, put the jam and lemon juice in a small saucepan over a low heat and warm until the jam begins to bubble. Strain through a sieve into a small bowl.
13 To assemble, unmould the cheesecake and place on a serving plate. Pat the peach slices dry with kitchen paper and arrange on top. If there are any peach juices left in the bowl, add these to the warm glaze. Arrange the raspberries in the gaps between the peaches.
14 Brush the fruit liberally with the glaze and leave to set for 10–15 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.

Recipe courtesy of Leiths School of Food and Wine, extracted from How To Cook Desserts.

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