Just peachy keen

August 27, 2015

Worth a try. Needs some tinkering.

Worth a try. Needs some tinkering.

In all the hoo-rah last week of putting up tomatoes and corn, the peaches I brought back from Georgia got somewhat overlooked. I’ve been eating them along, cut up with cottage cheese or just out of hand, and they’re marvelous. So I decided early this week to try a recipe that had been kicking around my “to try” file for a while — peaches and cream bars.

It is, essentially, a layered dessert, with a soft shortbread crust, a cream cheese-y layer, peaches, more shortbread, and a glaze. It’s good. It’s very sweet. But somehow, it lacks a bit of the “wow” factor I had expected it to have.

The recipe:

Shortbread layer:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt

Cheesecake layer:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Peach glaze layer

  • 3-4 medium peaches
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp almond flavoring
Disclaimer: I forgot to put half the glaze over the peaches before I added the rest of the shortbread. So it all went on top.

Disclaimer: I forgot to put half the glaze over the peaches before I added the rest of the shortbread. So it all went on top.

First, the shortbread. Cream together the butter and the sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one, along with the vanilla. Combine the flour and salt, and add gradually add to wet ingredients to make a stiff batter. Spread half the batter in a 9 x 13 cake pan.

Beat the cream cheese until it’s fluffy, then add the egg, sugar and vanilla and beat. Pour this over the shortbread layer.

Peel and slice the peaches. Set aside half of one peach, and put the rest in a single layer over the cheesecake layer. Use however many peaches you need to cover the cheese mixture.

Chop the remaining half peach, add with the sugar, water, and almond flavoring to a saucepan, and cook until the peach is soft. Use your immersion blender, or transfer to a blender or food processor, to puree into a glaze.  Put half the glaze over the peaches.

Dollop the remaining shortbread batter over the peaches, spacing it around fairly evenly. It will spread out as it bakes.

Bake in 350 degree oven until it’s golden brown. When cool, pour the remaining glaze over the top.

This is much better the second day, after the glaze has a chance to soak in and moisten the shortbread. The shortbread itself bakes up more like a biscuit, just a bit soft, than like a cookie, which is fine. But it is hurt-your-teeth sweet, to the point of overpowering the peaches, which were the point of the whole thing to start with. If I do it again, I think I’d cut back the sugar in the shortbread, toss the peach slices in some lemon juice, and maybe add a bit of lemon juice to the glaze to brighten it up.

Next up — the old-fashioned, church-supper cream cheese-and-condensed-milk pie, topped with peaches and a glaze rather than cherry pie filling. Ya think?

In between, I think I’ll have some peaches and yogurt and granola for breakfast. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em want to join me?





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