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Peach Cheesecake with a Snickerdoodles Crust, Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Glazed Peaches

I have a peach tree that produces the most delicious peaches. And even though I “knock off” the excess peaches as a farmer taught me, I still get a tremendous number of peaches. I freeze and can gallons of peaches, enjoy fresh peaches every day while they last, and give away buckets of peaches. And unless you’ve had one, you can’t imagine how good a tree-ripened peach is.

Recently, a friend of mine, who is one of my primary gluten-free taste testers, went on vacation to South Carolina. She excitedly texted me because she found a gluten-free bakery where she was staying and she thought it must be a good bakery because it had a long line of customers waiting to make purchases. I asked her to bring me back a couple things if they were good- a little “professional curiosity.” She didn’t bring anything back for me after she bought two things for herself. She paid $4.00 for one gluten-free Snickerdoodle cookie and $8.00 for a slice of cheesecake with a gluten-free Snickerdoodle crust. And she threw them both away after just one bite each because they were grainy and had a “gluten-free” taste. When the other customers saw her throw her purchases away, they asked her why. Her response: “I guess I’m spoiled.” Everyone in line was disappointed when they found out I am located in Virginia. (But they can find me at the Virginia Renaissance Faire!)

Well, that was all the challenge I needed. First I made my Snickerdoodle cookies so I would be able to compare the taste, texture and chew of the gluten-free cookies. Then I developed the gluten-free Snickerdoodle cookie recipe that everyone will enjoy. Of course, now I have the original and the gluten-free Snickerdoodle cookies, so it was time to turn some of each kind of these cookies into a cheesecake crust. And since my countertops were covered with peaches, I filled that crust with a peach cheesecake and decorated it with Marscapone whipping cream and fresh, glazed peaches (from my peach tree, of course!) This takes a little work, but it is so worth the effort. Enjoy!

See also: Snickerdoodle Cookies, Peach Cheesecake with a Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles Crust, Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Glazed Peaches

The Inside Scoop

Cheesecakes typically follow a set format: For every 1 8-ounce block of cream cheese (dairy fat), there is one egg and 1/4 cup of sugar. From here, there are hundreds of variations: Sour cream, marscapone or ricotta cheese may be substituted for some of the cream cheese. Fresh fruit, fruit juice or fruit zest may be included. Seasonings, spices or cocoa powder may be added. Powdered sugar or pudding mixes may be used instead of granulated sugar. Basic proportions may be changed, with additional ingredients added (e.g., if one adds fresh fruit, it may be necessary to reduce the sugar or add flour to absorb the additional moisture). With this cheesecake, I reduced the amount of granulated sugar because I added peach jam that is sweetened with sugar.

Since I have a peach tree, my obvious preference is to make my own peach jam. To do so, I take equal parts peaches and sugar, and add some lemon juice (the amount of lemon juice varies by the size of the batch). Before cooking, I puree the mixture slightly so that there are no large lumps of peaches and I can have a fairly smooth, spreadable jam with only small chunks of peaches. I then cook it down until the jam coats a spoon. However, I do realize most people do not have a peach tree in their front yard. Commercially prepared peach jams or preserves will work equally well, but plan to puree the jam if it is excessively chunky.

To make a cheesecake, one typically uses a springform pan. Unfortunately, these pans usually have a “lip” where the bottom connects to the sidewall. As a result, it is easy to lose some of the crust when removing that first piece. To avoid that, I will line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper, so that I can lift the slice of cheesecake above the lip and keep all of that wonderful Snickerdoodle crust attached to the cream cheese filling. (By the way, those are the Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle cookies in the background. By this point, I had a LOT of regular and gluten-free Snickerdoodle cookies in my house!)

To make the Snickerdoodle crust, place the Snickerdoodle cookies in a food processor and pulse until the cookies are smooth crumbs. Add the butter and continue pulsing until the crumb mixture begins to cling together but not so long that it lumps together. Pour the crumb mixture into your prepared springform pan and smooth out with your hands, the back of a spoon or a small, rounded measuring cup. Smooth the crumb mixture up the sides of the pan wall as high as is needed for the amount of filling. For a recipe using 3 blocks of cream cheese, this will be about two-thirds up the side of the pan. Be sure to keep the thickness of the crust even throughout.

After baking the crust, let it cool COMPLETELY so that it is firm and doesn’t fall apart when the filling is added.

Why is my pan wrapped in multiple layers of foil? One reason is to prevent the butter in the crust from leaking out during baking. The other reason is to prevent cracking. After the cheesecake filling has been poured into the baked and cooled crust, place the prepared springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet partially filled with water. The foil prevents water from seeping into the cheesecake. The water slows the baking process and creates a moist atmosphere inside the oven, both of which are important for a perfect cheesecake.

While baking, do not open the oven door until the cheesecake is (probably) done baking. Cheesecakes do not like sudden changes in temperature. And do not overbake; bake until the cheesecake’s surface is firm to the touch, but has a slight “jiggle” when shaken gently. The cheesecake will continue baking as it cools. This will give you that perfect, smooth surface and texture.

A perfectly baked cheesecake.

It is important to glaze the peaches for the top of your cheesecake so that they do not brown when exposed to air. To glaze, gently melt apple jelly or peach jelly (if available). Drop the peaches into the melted jelly to coat and then place the glazed peaches on a cooling rack to let the excess glaze drip off. And if you are wondering why my peaches are so dark, it is because they were ripened on the tree!

Peaches tend to shrink slightly as they ripen. Since my peaches are tree-ripened, they are typically smaller than a baseball. However, I often see peaches at the Farmer’s Market or at grocery stores that are the size of softballs, which are considerably larger. Depending on the size of your peaches, you may want to decorate the top of your cake with peaches that are cut in half, like I did, or cut into slices and then glazed. You will want to adjust the size of your mascarpone whipped cream swirls depending on the size of the peaches you are using.

For 8 half-peaches, I made 8 swirls of whipped topping. Make more, smaller swirls if you are decorating with sliced peaches.

Like all whipped creams, mascarpone whipped cream will begin to soften within a couple hours. As much as possible, pipe the mascarpone and apply the glazed peaches shortly before serving.


Peach Cheesecake with a Snickerdoodles Crust, Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Glazed Peaches

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By Connie Teunis Serves: 8-16

A delicious peach cheesecake with a Gluten-Free Snickerdoodle Cookie crust, Mascarpone whipped cream and glazed peaches


  • Snickerdoodle Crust:
  • 15 oz. (approximately 10) Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • 5 T. Butter, grated
  • Peach Cheesecake Filling:
  • For a medium-sized Cheesecake (8-12 servings):
  • 3 8-ounce Packages of Full Fat Cream Cheese, softened
  • 72 g./ 6 T. Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs, Whisked
  • 225 g./ ¾ c. Peach Jam
  • 1 t. Peach Brandy, Peach Schnapps or Vanilla Extract
  • For a Large Cheesecake (12-16 servings):
  • 4 8-ounce Packages of Full-Fat Cream Cheese, softened
  • 96 g./ ½ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs, Whisked
  • 300 g./ 1 c. Peach Jam
  • 1 ½ t. Peach Brandy, Peach Schnapps or Vanilla Extract
  • Glazed Peaches:
  • Fresh, canned or frozen and thawed peaches - the number of peaches necessary is determined by the size of the peaches and the number of halves or slices desired to finish the cheesecake
  • 3/4 c. Apple or peach jelly or amount required to completely cover the prepared peach halves or slices
  • Mascarpone Whipping Cream:
  • 240 ml./ 1 c. Very Cold Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 170 g./ 6 oz. Mascarpone Cheese, softened
  • 60 g./ ½ c. Powdered Sugar
  • ½ t. Peach Brandy, Peach Schnapps or Vanilla Extract



At Least 1 Day in Advance:


Make Snickerdoodle Cookies. Let cool completely.


Day of Baking the Cheesecake:


To Make the Snickerdoodle Cookie Crust:


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in two to three layers of aluminum foil.


Place 15 ounces of Snickerdoodle Cookies (approximately 10 cookies) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until cookies are fine crumbs. Add the butter; pulse until cookies just begin to come together; do NOT pulse until cookie crumbs form a lump.


Pour the cookie and butter mixture into the springform pan. Use your fingers, the back of a spoon or the bottom of a small, rounded measuring cup to press the crust ingredients to the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Try to maintain an equal thickness on the bottom and sides. For a medium cheesecake, press the crumbs about 2/3s of the way up the side of the pan. For a large cheesecake, press most of the way up the side of the pan.


Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes; remove from the oven and cool completely.


To Make the Cheesecake Filling:


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs; set aside.


Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat until smooth. Gradually add the granulated sugar, peach jam and peach brandy; beat until smooth, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl often. Gradually add the whisked eggs; beat until fully incorporated, again scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently. Pour into the cooled Snickerdoodle crust.


Place the prepared springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour water onto the rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 75 minutes, until the top of the cheesecake is firm to the touch and the cheesecake wiggles slightly when gently shaken. Turn the oven off, crack the oven door open and let the cheesecake cool completely.


To Glaze the Peaches:


If using fully ripe fresh peaches, bring a half-full pot of water to a boil. Drop the fresh peaches into the water and let boil for 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the peaches and drop them into a bowl of ice water. Leave the peaches in the ice water for 1 minute. Slip the skins off the peaches. Slice the peaches in half. Use a spoon to remove the pits and to clean the inside of the peaches. If peach slices are desired, slice the peach halves and set aside in a bowl.


If using canned or frozen and thawed peaches, determine the number of peaches desired to finish the top of the cheesecake. Small peaches can be used as halves or sliced; large peaches will need to be sliced.


Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet.


Place the apple or peach jelly in a small saucepan. Melt the jelly on low heat, stirring until the jelly is completely smooth. Drop the peach halves or slices into the jelly and turn until completely coated.


Use a slotted spoon to remove the glazed peaches from the saucepan and place on the cooling rack to cool and to allow excess jelly to drip off.


If peaches are not being used immediately, place in an airtight container and refrigerate.


To Make the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:


Shortly before serving, pour the heavy whipping cream into the spotlessly clean bowl of a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment to whisk the cream until stiff peaks form. Add the softened mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and peach brandy; continue whisking on high speed until stiff peaks form.


To Assemble:


With a knife, gently score the surface of the cheesecake where the mounds of mascarpone whipped cream will be piped.


Place a #48 piping tip on a piping bag. Fill the piping bag with the prepared mascarpone whipped cream. Pipe swirls onto the top of the cheesecake as indicated by the knife scores. OR With a spoon, drop dollops of whipped cream onto the top of the cheesecake as indicated by the knife scores.


Place the peach halves or slices on top of the mascarpone whipped cream swirls.




To store: Carefully cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Notice the evenness of the crust? YUM!

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