Peach Delight

5.0
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The jammy peach topping makes this an unforgettable dessert.

Peach Delight
Photo: Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman
Active Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
10

As much as we love biting into a sweet, fresh peach and letting the juice dribble down our chins, we also like to get creative with how we use these delicious summer fruits. One such burst of creativity led to this modern and updated take on Peach Delight, a dessert that's equal parts sweet, tangy, and crunchy all at the same time.

Here, discover everything you need to know about this indulgent treat.

What Is Peach Delight?

If you've heard of Peach Delight before, the version you're picturing likely features a nutty crust topped with a layer of cheesecake filling and finished with a layer of fresh peaches enshrined in Jell-O. In our version, we swapped the gelatin top layer for a thick layer of macerated peaches boasting intense peach flavor. We also went with a baked graham cracker crust beneath the light and fluffy cheesecake filling.

Peach Delight Ingredients

Graham Crackers, Butter, and Salt
These go into the sweet and nutty crust. Graham crackers are a cinch to crush by hand—no need to dirty a food processor.

Granulated Sugar
Let's face it: It's not dessert without a little bit of the sweet stuff. There's some in the crust and in the peach mixture. In the topping, it helps to firm up the ingredients so it's more like a jam, not watery.

Peaches
For this recipe, peaches that are ripe but still firm are best. If they are too soft, they will break down too much during cooking.

If it isn't peach season but you're craving Peach Delight, feel free to use peaches canned in juice or frozen and thawed peaches. Since canned peaches are already softened, reduce the macerating time by 5 minutes.

Peach Preserves
Preserves double down on the mouthwatering peach flavor.

Cornstarch
Cornstarch is a key ingredient in Peach Delight—without it, your peach layer will be too runny and not thicken up for slicing.

Whipping Cream
To make sure the cheesecake layer isn't too dense, whipped cream gets folded in over two additions.

Cream Cheese, Powdered Sugar and Vanilla
These ingredients round out the no-bake cheesecake filling in our Peach Delight.

How to Make Peach Delight

You'll need to set aside a couple hours to make Peach Delight, though most of the time is spent letting each layer cool and chill.

Step 1. Make the crust

The crust is first. You'll start by getting out some stress on a pack of graham crackers. Put them in a zip-top bag and roll, bash, or crash your way to a bag of crumbs. Then, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, salt, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Press the mixture into an 11- x 7-inch dish.

Tip: For an even layer, use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to gently press the graham cracker mixture into the pan.

pressing a graham cracker crust into a pan
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Bake the graham cracker crust at 350°F for 10 to 12 or until it has turned golden brown.

Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack, and let it cool completely while you prepare the next layers. This should take about 45 minutes.

completed graham cracker crust
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

You can make the crust a day ahead if you need to spread out the tasks for this Peach Delight. Let the crust cool, then wrap it in plastic wrap. Store it in a cool, dry place until you're ready to build the dessert.

Step 2. Make the peach layer

While the graham cracker crust cools completely, all the ingredients for the peach layer go into a pot on the stove and cook down until they almost reach the consistency of jam. This should take about 30 minutes.

Once it's at the right consistency, remove the pot from the stove, and let the peach mixture cool to room temperature. This should take another 30 minutes. Don't be tempted to pop the pan in the fridge or freezer to cool it faster. Doing so could make the filling seize and turn into a sugary mess.

peach mixture in saucepan with wooden spoon
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Step 3. Make the cream cheese layer.

While the crust and peach jam layers cool completely, you can make the cheesecake layer. Start by whipping the cream on its own until it forms stiff peaks. Set that aside.

whipped cream at stiff peak stage in a stainless steel bowl
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Then, in a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Finally, fold in the whipped cream in two additions.

cream cheese and ingredients in a mixing bowl with spatula
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Step 4. Build the dessert

Now it's time to construct your Peach Delight. The cream cheese mixture goes onto the crust first, and the dessert goes into the fridge while the peach mixture cools.

spreading cream cheese layer of graham cracker crust
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

Once cooled, you will spread the peach mixture on top, cover, and chill about two hours, or until the Peach Delight is firm enough to cut into bars.

peach layer poured over cream cheese layer in casserole pan
Photographer: Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

How to Serve and Store Peach Delight

Serve Peach Delight chilled and topped with more whipped cream, if you'd like. From there, you can store it covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Editorial contributions by Alyssa Sybertz.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 15 [2 1/4- x 5-in.] graham cracker sheets)

  • 6 Tbsp. (3 oz.) unsalted butter, melted

  • ½ tsp. kosher salt

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 ¼ lb. firm-ripe fresh peaches (about 5 small [4 oz. each] peaches), peeled and sliced into 1/2-in.-thick slices (about 4 cups)

  • ½ cup peach preserves

  • 4 tsp. cornstarch

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

  • 1 ¼ cups (about 4 oz.) powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, salt, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in a large bowl until combined. Press mixture evenly into bottom of an 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until crust is toasty and edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer baking dish to a wire rack; let crust cool completely, about 45 minutes.

  2. While crust cools, stir together peaches, peach preserves, cornstarch, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low, stirring often, until peaches soften and mixture thickens and becomes jammy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

  3. While peach mixture cools, beat whipping cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Set whipped cream aside. Wipe beaters clean. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Fold half of whipped cream into cream cheese mixture using a rubber spatula until just combined; repeat with remaining whipped cream. Spoon cream cheese mixture into cooled crust; smooth top using a small offset spatula. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

  4. Spoon cooled peach mixture evenly over cream cheese mixture, spreading to edges of cream cheese mixture. Chill, covered, until filling is firm, about 2 hours. Cut evenly into 10 bars, and serve. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 5 days.

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