Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Company for dinner Sunday night gave me an excuse to make a new dessert. Well, not really new.  This is an oldie but goodie, from McCall's Book of Cakes and Pies, circa 1965. There are some things that just can't be improved upon. This is one of them. A sweet lemonny cookie crust with a cinammon-flavored cheesecake filling, topped with fresh juicy peaches and pureed peach preserves. It doesn't get much better. Peaches and Cream. We all loved it --- again.

This dessert will only be as good as its ingredients. Taste the peaches to be sure they are sweet and juicy
before you go to the trouble of making this. This year, it seems the peaches are better than ever, extra-large and very juicy. And, BTW, if you use extra-large peaches, you will get a different design on the top than if you use a medium-sized peach.  Take a look at the top photo with the fluted edges. That's from the cookbook. Do you see how the center section is larger than mine? That's because my peaches were so large, they took up more room, leaving a small center. I didn't try to flute the edges because the dough was very short, and it was just easier not to. Have it your way -- fluted or not, but make this pie. It's a winner.

Peach Cream Pie Glace`
Rating: 9 out of 10

Cookie Crust Pie Shell:
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine flour, sugar, and lemon peel in medium bowl. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in egg yolk and vanilla. Mix pastry, with hands, until well blended. Pat evenly in 9" pie plate; make a small edge on rim (or not -- I didn't). Refrigerate.

12 oz. soft Neufchatel cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla paste or vanilla
2 extra-large fresh ripe peaches (about 1-3/4 lb.)
1/2 cup peach preserves, purchased or homemade

Preheat oven to 375F.   In small bowl of electric mixer, at medium speed, beat cheese until light and fluffy. At low speed, beat in sugar, eggs, and cinnamon until smooth.   Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is just about set in center. Cool completely on wire rack.

Wash peaches; peel. Halve peaches; remove pits and slice. Arrange sliced peaches over cooled filling.
In small saucepan, combine peach preserves with 2 tsp. water. Cook, stirring, over low heat, until preserves are melted. Press preserve mixture through sieve, to puree. Spoon evenly over peach slices.  Refrigerate 1 hour, or until well chilled.  Makes 8 servings.

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