If you’ve been hanging around kitchens for any length of time you probably have a particular favorite cheesecake. The jammy Strawberry-Topped Cheesecake is popular, or maybe your favorite cheesecake is simply sliced and served as in this lemony version from Mark Bittman. Cheesecake is a staple and most cooks have a fairly certain point of view about which type they prefer. However, if you’re not one of those cooks, or perhaps you just don’t care for the traditionally creamy styles that grace most menus then I’d like you to set these prejudices aside and consider making this Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Dried Peaches your favorite cheesecake.
It’s a seemingly unusual cheesecake, especially if you compare it to a New York Cheesecake. Partly because it’s dense and moist with an uncreamy crumb that has more in common with a pound cake than a no-bake cheesecake. But more importantly, the fruit element in this Cream Cheese Bundt Cake isn’t jammy nor is it fresh and juicy – it’s made with dried peaches.
I know from experience that dried fruit isn’t always a crowd-pleaser. I’ve seen plenty of folks spend most of their Starbucks coffee break patiently plucking currants from a scone. Of course, you can’t talk about the lack of love for dried fruit without using prunes as a case in point. Admit it, you’ve had a box of the wizened little wretches in the back of your pantry since 1994.
That said, dried fruit can be a bakers friend. Because getting just the right balance of moisture, sugar, and flour to make a successful cake often means that fresh fruit is off-limits. One of my most memorable baking fails was a Martha Stewart recipe for fresh strawberry-studded cookies. If you go back and read my post about them you’ll see I tried several ways to tame the moisture from those fresh berries. Dried fruit doesn’t weep when baked the same way many berries and stone fruits do. GREG