Cheesecake is such a rich dessert that a small 4 ½” cake is the perfect serving size for two.  The acidity in honey makes it an ideal ingredient for marinating fruit.  The result is fruit with a meltingly tender texture, almost as if it has been cooked.  And the whiskey just puts it over the top.  My favorite Texas honey comes from an old Austin company called Good Flow.

Cheesecake with Honey-ed Peaches

Cheesecake with Honey-ed Peaches

Makes 1 small 4 1/2" cheesecake

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 2 honey graham cracker sheets (1 1/4 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons unbleached flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest

For the peaches:

  • 1/2 of a peeled ripe peach, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 teaspoons Texas honey
  • 1 teaspoon whiskey

Instructions

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 4 ½” spring-form pan with a non-flavored oil (such as canola).
  2. In a food processor, pulverize all crust ingredients. Press the mixture into the spring-form pan. Use a small shot glass to pack the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Pack firmly for best slicing results. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Reduce oven temperature to 300°.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until combined. Add the flour and continue to beat.
  4. Next, add the egg, lemon zest and salt. Beat this mixture well, but do not purposefully over beat or you will add too much air to your cheesecake batter, causing it to crack as it cools.
  5. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the crust and bake on a baking sheet for 38-40 minutes, until the center is slightly jiggly but not wet when you lightly touch it. Leave the cheesecake in the oven, but turn the oven off and prop open the door. Let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, move the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool another 30 minutes.
  6. Finally, run a knife around the edge of the pan, and then cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating the cake. All of these steps ensure that your cheesecake will not crack or deflate. Let the cheesecake chill 5 hours or overnight.
  7. About 30 minutes before you plan to serve it, make the honey-ed peaches. Toss the peaches with the honey and whiskey. Let marinate for 30 minutes before pouring this mixture over the cheesecake. Unmold the cheesecake and serve with two forks.