Monday, September 7, 2009

Peach Cheesecake & Picnic

SP's dad invited the family over for a picnic yesterday. We offered to take dessert and after browsing through our recipe collection, we decided to make Peach Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust. Saturday afternoon we made the gingersnap crust.It's 6 oz of gingersnap cookies ground in the food processor and half a stick melted unsalted butter mixed together and pressed onto the bottom & one inch up the sides of a springform pan. It bakes for about 8 minutes.
We also made the peach compote: combine peaches, sugar, and lemon juice; cook until the peaches are soft and the juices thicken. We let the compote cool on the countertop until we went out for dinner - we put it in the refrigerator while we were gone.After we got home from dinner, we made the cheesecake: 32 oz cream cheese, half a cup sour cream, 4 eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Half the batter is poured in top of the crust, then the peach compote is dolloped on top of that batter, and then the remaining batter is poured on top. The cheesecake bakes at 325 for an hour or until starting to brown on top.We baked ours for an hour and twenty minutes. It wasn't really starting to brown on top, but there were a few cracks on top beginning to show and we were afraid to over bake it/dry it out, so we didn't leave it in any longer.

Sunday morning we made the peach glaze: peach preserves and lemon juice. We poured the glaze over the top of the cheesecake, sliced a peach, and fanned the peach out on top in a circle in the center of the cheesecake. Then we set off for the picnic! There were lots of snacks: shrimp cocktail, chips & salsa, veggies & dip, nuts, cheese & crackers. I ate a lot of snacks and sipped Chardonnay. Dinner was mushroom-barley soup, rotisserie chicken, corn, succotash, cucumbers in vinegar, quinoa salad, and tomatoes & basil with balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!
CSA brother (Googer) made the quinoa salad. It was quinoa, peppers, dried apricots, shallot, cilantro, cumin, ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, and other ingredients I forget right now but you can read all about it here. Here's a photo of the quinoa salad:When we cut the cheesecake to serve it for dessert, we were disappointed to discover it was not completely set in the center. It tasted fine, but we should have baked it another 10 minutes or so. We think the problem might be that the recipe calls for room temperature eggs, sour cream, cream cheese, and compote, but since we made it after getting home from dinner around 8:30 pm, we didn't let our ingredients completely reach room temperature. We think the cheesecake was colder than it should have been when we put it in the oven and that's why it took so long to cook. We should have waited until we saw the top start to brown instead of fearing the worst and taking it out after 80 minutes.

It was tasty, though!!

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