Summer’s Peachy Delight

SoDel Concepts dessert master Dru Tevis shares a favorite recipe using fresh, locally sourced peaches

Recipe by Dru Tevis, SoDel Concepts  |  Photography by Pamela Aquilani

The smell of ripe peaches tells you it’s summer — and the Eastern Shore is abundant with sweet and tasty opportunities to transform ordinary recipes into mouthwatering, seasonal favorites. Dru Tevis, pastry chef extraordinaire for SoDel Concepts, is known for creating some of the most amazing desserts on the Shore — and he shares a favorite from his personal recipe collection with locally sourced peaches from Bennett Orchards with you. Enjoy! 

Vanilla Bean Layered Cheesecake with Fresh-Sliced Peaches

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted

Combine graham cracker crumbs, light brown sugar and salt. Add in melted butter and stir until combined. Press crust into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350°F for 8-12 minutes, until it takes on a little color around the edges. Set aside to cool.

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
4 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
½ tsp salt
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 egg yolks
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 450°F. Beat cream cheese on medium to break it up. Add the salt and about half the sugar and beat at medium-low for about 1 minute, until combined. Scrape down bowl, add remaining sugar and beat about 1 minute, until combined. Scrape bowl, add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste and beat until combined (1 min). Add eggs, starting with yolks, followed by 1 egg at a time, mixing each addition until fully combined and scraping down the bowl before continuing. 

Spray sides of springform pan. Place cake in a large, shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the side of the springform. Place in the 450°F oven, close the door and immediately turn oven down to 350°F. Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The top should be slightly golden, and the cake should jiggle as a whole, without looking wet in the center. Turn the oven off, crack the door and leave the cheesecake in oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and water bath and allow to cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  

Vanilla Whip Topping Ingredients
½ qt heavy cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Pinch salt 

Beat heavy cream in a mixer with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add vanilla extract, powdered sugar and a pinch of salt, and beat until stiff peaks. Top whole cheesecake if planning to serve all at once or top individual servings with a big spoonful. Serve with fresh-sliced peaches or whatever berries/fruit are in season. CS

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