peach almnd cheese cake

Almond Tourteau de chèvre with Peaches

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peach almnd cheese cake
Just a bit of peach poking out!

We had great luck with modifying the original Tourteau de chèvre recipe to make Tourteau de chèvre au Chocolat, so, with all the fresh peaches we picked, not to mention having some goat cheese on hand, we thought that we’d try to modify it once again to incorporate fruit at the peak of the season. What’s the absolute worst that can happen? Maybe it turns out dense, but, so what? It’ll still taste good. (As a spoiler, it turned out well, but we have a few tweaks that we’re thinking about for next time.)

We originally thought of just doing a peach cheesecake, but how? Do we put fresh peaches on top? That might keep the cake from rising properly and make the filling soggy. What about the bottom? Maybe that would keep the crust from baking completely. Who knows? What about flavor? Will the peaches have enough flavor? We seem to be in uncharted territory. Not the “Here be dragons!” sort of territory, but even still.

So we spent a bit of time thinking. First up was the flavor. We figured, to get enough peach flavor, we’d have way too many peaches and our cheesecake would be a soggy mess. So, what can we do? Well, almonds go well with peaches; hence, the almond in the title.

Next up, where to put the peaches, bottom or top? We just split the difference and decided to put down a layer of batter, place the peaches, then another layer of batter, sandwiching the peach slices between cheese filling. It turned out to be a good call. Now that we’ve decided all that, let’s get scratchin’.

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake.

Almond Tourteau de chèvre with Peaches

Almond Tourteau de chèvre with Peaches

Ingredients

  • 1 Tart Crust, chilled and ready to roll
  • 6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs sugar
  • 9 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 3 Tbs cornstarch
  • 2 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

Abbreviated Instructions

For the Crust

Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line bottom with baking parchment, then butter parchment.

Roll out crust between two pieces of waxed paper, refrigerate if it becomes too soft, then press into prepared springform pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

For the cheesecake

Preheat oven to 400°F and move a rack to the middle of the oven.

Roast almonds on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Cool. Using a food processor, grind to a meal-like consistency.

In a mixer with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and the salt on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. While still whipping on medium-high, gradually add the 2 tablespoons sugar. Whip until the egg whites hold firm peaks. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

Change to paddle attachment, and, in the mixer bowl (no need to clean), cream together egg yolks, ground almonds, extracts, 1/2 cup sugar, goat cheese, and cornstarch, until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Stop periodically and scrape down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Fold whipped egg whites into batter in three additions, taking care not to deflate whites.

Pour approximately half the batter into the prepared shell and place a layer of peach slices on top.

Pour remaining batter into prepared shell, place on baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat, and bake for 15 minutes.

Lower heat to 350°F and bake 40-45 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 15 minutes, then remove sides. Cool to room temperature, then remove parchment and transfer to serving plate.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2013/08/almond-tourteau-de-chevre-with-peaches/

Ingredient discussion:

Eggs: true pastured, if possible. Find someone who has a small flock of chickens and buy your eggs there. Check farmers’ markets and ask around. It’s a great way to support your neighbors. Extracts: get pure and natural. For goat cheese, we’re lucky to get a very high-quality local brand made from milk that comes from well-treated goats. Look around; you’re sure to find a goat herder in the area these days. Peaches: use fresh; if you don’t have fresh, then omit and make just an Almond Tourteau de chèvre.

Procedure in detail:

Prepare pan. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with a circle of baking parchment, and then butter that. Is all that really necessary? Especially if your springform is non-stick? Think about it this way: you went all-out on the ingredients, and are investing your time to make a great cheesecake; do you want to take the chance to save a few minutes and cents? I see you’re reaching for the butter and parchment — good answer.

Roll out crust. This crust is soft and sticky, so we placed the ball between two pieces of waxed paper before rolling. Then we rolled, and rolled, turning it over from time to time, until it was large enough for the pan.

Refrigerate. This crust is soft, so we covered it with plastic and put it back into the fridge until we were ready, which also has the advantage of clearing a bit of counter space.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a rack in the middle position in the oven.

toasted almonds
Since the oven is on anyway, toast the almonds to bring out the flavor further. It only takes a few minutes.

Roast almonds. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and slide into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Periodically stir them around and watch carefully so they don’t burn. They’ll turn a bit darker in color and start to give off a really nice aroma. When that happens, remove almonds to cool.

ground almonds
A food processor makes quick work of grinding a few nuts. It’s loud, though, and your cat might run and hide.

Grind almonds. Once cool, place the almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground into meal. Set aside.

separating eggs
We separate each egg into two small bowls, adding the white to the mixer bowl between eggs.

Separate eggs. If you haven’t already done so, separate your eggs. We always separate them, one by one, into a small bowl, then put the whites into our mixing bowl. That way, if a yolk breaks, we haven’t contaminated all the whites (egg whites will not whip if there’s yolk mixed in).

egg whites
Nicely-whipped egg whites. They hold their peaks and are still glossy.

Whip egg whites. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whip the egg whites and salt on medium-high until soft peaks form. Now, with the mixer still running, gradually add the small amount of sugar. Whip until the whites hold firm peaks, then gently transfer to another bowl and set aside.

batter ingredients
All the remaining batter ingredients can be added in just one go and mixed until smooth and creamy.

Make batter. In the mixer bowl that held the egg whites (no need to clean), combine egg yolks, almonds, extracts, sugar, cornstarch, and goat cheese. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat on medium, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.

adding egg whites
Take the time to fold in the egg whites in three additions; it makes for a lighter batter, and, ultimately, a lighter cake.

Fold egg whites into the batter. This is it. This is what makes for a light cheesecake, folding in the egg whites. We like to fold in the whites in three nearly equal additions. Scrape about 1/3 of the egg whites onto the batter, fold in as carefully as you can, then the next 1/3, and the final third, folding as gently and carefully as you’re able.

almond batter
Use about half the batter for the bottom layer to keep the peaches off the crust.

Pour some batter into shell. Take the tart shell out of the refrigerator, pour and scrape in about half the batter, and level.

placing peaches
Place a layer of peaches on the batter, then cover with another layer, making the peaches a surprise in the middle.

Layer peaches. Place the peach slices on the batter in a single layer with a small amount of space between each slice. Eat any leftover peach slices. Pour the remaining batter over the peaches.

almond cheesecake
We placed a garnish of almonds around the edge of our cake to warn off those people who don’t like nuts.

Bake. Place the springform pan onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. This does two things: it insulates the bottom of the cake so it doesn’t bake too fast, and catches drips of butter that leak out. Bake for 15 minutes.

Lower temperature. Now, drop the temperature of the oven to 350°F and continue baking for another 40-45 minutes, or until puffed and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry.

almond peach cheesecake
The top will get cracked and brown on this cake, but it is delicious.

Cool. Place on rack, and cool at least 15 minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan. Allow torteau to cool to room temperature before removing parchment from the bottom and placing on a serving plate.

almond peach cheesecake
Once completely cool, transfer to a plate so your creation looks nice.

Serve. And enjoy.

Considering we just modified a previous recipe to make this cake, we definitely did not have a failure. The cake turned out nice and light, and, for those people who don’t like goat cheese, this doesn’t really taste very goat cheesy. I think most people wouldn’t even notice it. Probably the only thing we would change would to be to increase the almond extract from 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. This cake could have used just a bit more almond flavor. Since it only had two peaches inside, the peach flavor was fairly subdued, except when you got a bite of peaches. So, expect that when you eat it. Overall, because of the shortness of almond flavor, we’ll give it an even four.

Worth the trouble?

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