Picture the scene: it's summer during the late 1930s in Venice, and Hemingway has just slumped into Harry's Bar to demand a drink and look for somewhere to cool down. What's that? A bellini? Why of course...
Ripe peaches have got to be the taste of summer and this cheesecake is a little like a bellini in cake form: ok, it doesn't contain prosecco (you get to drink that alongside it) but it is light, refreshing, fragrant, fruity and not a little bit boozy. Fresh peaches to caramelise beautifully are an absolute must for this recipe. Try and get them from a greengrocers, rather than a supermarket chiller, they'll be so much better.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours +
You will need:
For the base:
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 80g butter
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 50g white chocolate, grated
For the topping:
- 100g mascarpone
- 400g cream cheese
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- 3 tbsp crème de pêche (peach liqueur - use peach juice or bellini puree if you can't find any, but I got mine from Aldi!)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
- 1 fresh peach, peeled and diced
- 3 fresh peaches, sliced
- 2 tbsp crème de pêche
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- handful of almonds, chopped
- Grease a 23cm, spring form tin.
- Place the biscuits in a zip-lock bag, seal and bash with something heavy until crushed. Tip into mixing bowl.
- Melt the butter and stir into the crushed biscuits, until completely combined.
- Stir in the almonds and finely grated white chocolate.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin, pressing down firmly and to the edges into an even layer.
- Cover and place in the fridge to chill.
- In a large bowl, mix together the mascarpone, cream cheese and icing sugar until well combined. Add more icing sugar to taste, if you like.
- Stir in the crème de pêche, vanilla and diced peach until evenly distributed.
- Spoon onto the chilled base, smoothing over the top.
- Cover and place in the fridge for at least four hours to set, or overnight.
- When ready to serve, carefully remove the ring part of the tin.
- Place the fresh peaches on a clean baking tray or ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the crème de pêche, caster sugar and chopped almonds.
- Place under a hot grill until the peach slices are beginning to caramelise and soften (be careful that the almonds aren't catching) or use a chef's blowtorch to caramelise the sugar.
- Transfer to a plate to cool before arranging on top of the cheesecake and sprinkling with a few more almonds. Serve with some very, very cold prosecco and bask in glorious summerness.