I think I should come clean before I start telling you about this recipe.
Confession: I really don’t like peaches. Like, despise them. I like peaches about as much as Ree likes bananas.
What business did I have making a dessert with peaches? Well, it was all about love, people. The rest of my family loves peaches, and I love my family. I had a few peaches from my last farmers’ market trip that needed to be used ASAP on a day when I needed to make a potluck dessert. It was destiny, I suppose.
This recipe is a combination of a cheesecake and a crumble, and I think you may even substitute a different kind of fruit for the peaches (pears, apples, berries, etc.). Thank you TK member Courtney (who blogs at Bake, Eat, Repeat) for posting these Peaches and Cream Crumble Bars!
Let’s begin by making a few preparations. Oven at 350ºF? Check. Baking dish lined with foil and greased? Check.
To make the crust you only need three things: flour, brown sugar, and butter. (If you use unsalted butter, you’ll need to add a bit of salt.)
Add the butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl. (Or the work bowl of your best friend—er, I mean stand mixer. Please tell me you named yours, too?)
Add the brown sugar, then beat it to soften the butter and incorporate the sugar.
Add the flour.
Mix well, scraping down the sides. At first it’ll look really crumbly. Then it will look like …
This. A beautiful, somewhat-sticky mass about the consistency of cookie dough.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking dish and bake it for about 20 minutes. It should begin to turn golden brown on the edges and the middle should be set.
Meanwhile you can start on the other components. First, the filling. You’ll need three ripe peaches, eggs, peach jam (thanks Grandma!), cream cheese, sour cream, flour, and vanilla.
You’ll need some sugar, too. Just pretend it’s in the photo, snuggled in between the sour cream and cream cheese. Yep, right there.
Put the cream cheese and sour cream into a mixing bowl.
Beat the daylights out of it until you have a relatively lump-free mixture. Be sure to scrape down the sides a few times to get those tricky parts in the bottom.
Add the sugar and the flour …
And the eggs and vanilla.
Like before, beat the daylights out of it until you have a silky-smooth batter. (Scrape down the sides again!)
Next, let’s get the topping done. In a small bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. (If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.)
You’ll need to add a stick of melted butter to this mixture, but you might want to whisk it together first. I didn’t. My daughters (3 and 5) were glued to me asking, “CAN I HELP NOW?” “CAN I TASTE IT?” “CAN I STIR IT UP?” “WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BE DONE?!” “CAN I HELP NOW?” And somehow I forgot to whisk it. It happens.
I think they have a built-in radar that tells them I’m making a dessert. They usually aren’t glued to me when I make dinner.
But, see? It all turned out well in the end. The crumble was wetter than I anticipated, but it was easily broken apart with my fingers.
One last thing: Slice up the peaches. Aren’t they pretty?
Alright. Assembly time. Grab the baked crust and smear some peach jam over it.
Grab some helpers (or your own two hands) and lay the peaches on top.
My 5-year-old enjoys lining things up in nice, even rows. (Ahem. She gets that from her mother.) This is how ours turned out. We used two yellow peaches and one white one.
You know that batter you’d like to put your face in? Pour that over the peaches. Then lick that bowl clean. I didn’t make it into the closet in time so I had to share with my minions.
Speaking of minions, they’re awfully good at sprinkling the crumble mixture over the cheesecake batter.
My younger one ate more than she sprinkled, but we had enough to cover the whole thing.
Time to bake! Throw it in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the middle sets up.
Let it cool for 15-20 minutes before you dig in. I was able to lift the foil and slide the whole thing onto a cutting board.
I love how beautiful the layers are in these!
And I even liked how they tasted. Yes, even the peach-hater liked them! Like cheesecake, they get even better when they sit in the fridge and cool for several hours.
Recipe alterations: I replaced all of the flour with whole wheat pastry flour, reduced all of the sugars by half, used salted butter and omitted the added salt, and omitted the step of brushing the crust with melted butter. (I didn’t think that last one was necessary.)
Sweet juicy peaches paired with tender shortbread, rich custard and spiced crumble. It’s summer in a bar.
1. For the shortbread crust: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with foil, then grease the foil on all sides. Set the dish aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and salt and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the flour and beat on low speed until incorporated then increase to high speed and beat until a cohesive dough is formed. Using your fingers, press the dough into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. When it’s done remove it from the oven and start the next step.
2. For the filling: Brush shortbread crust with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Spread peach jam evenly over the crust, then layer with sliced peaches. To make the cream layer, put the cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl and beat on high speed until smooth. Add sugar and 1 tablespoon flour and beat another 30 seconds. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour cheesecake mixture over peach slices. Set aside.
3. For the topping: In a small bowl, combine flour, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Pour melted butter over all of it and use your fingers to mix everything together until coarse crumbles form. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake layer. Bake again at 350 F for 30 minutes or until crumbles are golden brown and center is set.
- FOR THE SHORTBREAD:
- 2 sticks Unsalted Butter, Cut Into Small Chunks
- ¼ cups Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 2 cups Flour
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- ½ cups Peach Jam
- 3 Large Peaches, Pitted And Thinly Sliced
- 12 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Softened
- ¼ cups Sour Cream
- ½ cups Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
- 1 cup Flour
- ¼ cups Sugar
- ¼ cups Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoons Salt
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
Be sure to check out Natalie’s own beautiful food blog, Perrys’ Plate, where you can see her growing collection of lovely recipes. There’s always something new to see there. Go visit now!