Peach-Ricotta Cheesecake With Pecan Crust
There's nothing like a moist and fluffy slice of cheesecake (especially when it's gluten-free).
- 1 container whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 3 cups pecans chopped
- 3 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch or gluten-free flour
- 1 egg white whisked until frothy
- 4 fresh peaches
- 1 pkg cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp lemon zest plus 2 tbsp fresh juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- fresh mint
Place the ricotta cheese in a cheesecloth-lined colander. Set the colander in a bowl, and cover the top of it with a plastic wrap. Chill 8 to 12 hours to drain.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread chopped pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until fragrant and lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven, and cool on baking sheet for 20 minutes. Process pecans in a food processor until they're finely ground, then transfer them to a medium bowl. Add brown sugar, kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon of the tapioca starch, whisking to combine. Add beaten egg white, and whisk just until blended. Get your fingers damp with water, then press the pecan mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan, making the crust about 1/8 inch thick.
Place a large pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Transfer the drained ricotta to a food processor. Peel 1 peach, cut it in half, and ditch the pit. Add the peach to the ricotta and process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides, then add cream cheese, granulated sugar, eggs, and remaining 2 tablespoons tapioca starch. Process another 30 seconds and scrape the sides again. Add lemon zest, vanilla extract, fine sea salt, almond extract, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides. Transfer the batter to the prepared crust, and place on the center rack of the oven, above the pan of water.
Bake in preheated oven until the top puffs up and begins to brown and the center of the cake seems mostly set (it should be a little jiggly), about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, and cool for 4 hours (or cover and refrigerate overnight). The cheesecake will settle slightly as it cools.
Gently rub the 3 remaining peaches under running water to remove their fuzzy bits, then slice them thinly. Toss together peach slices and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a large bowl. Top cheesecake with prepped peach slices, and garnish with fresh mint, if desired.