We consider ourselves lucky that National Cheesecake Day falls at the end of July, because that means we can top this surprisingly light no-bake cheesecake with the glorious nectarines or other stone fruit that’s in the farmers’ markets at this time of year. Brushing the nectarine slices with a little melted jam makes them extra glossy, but feel free to skip this step for a more rustic look.
For the crust:
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- 1 cup (3 oz./90 g) graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 lb. (1 kg) cream cheese
- 1/3 cup (4 oz./125 g) honey
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
- 3 Tbs. apricot or peach jam
- 4 ripe nectarines, pitted and sliced
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the almonds, graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar. Process to grind finely. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs begin to stick together. Press the crumbs firmly onto the bottom and 2 inches (5 cm) up the sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, honey and granulated sugar on medium speed until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the cream, the lemon juice and the almond extract.
4. Place 1 Tbs. water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface and let soften for 5 minutes. Place over low heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) cream. Add the gelatin mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute. Spoon the filling into the crust. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
5. Remove the pan sides and, using a spatula, transfer the cake to a plate. In a small saucepan, stir the jam over medium heat until melted. Let cool slightly. Arrange the nectarine slices on the cheesecake. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted jam over the fruit. Cut the cake into wedges and serve. Serves 8 to 10.
Find more mouthwatering ways to end a meal in our
cookbook Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw.