Roasted Peach and Pepper Cheesecake
Photo: Ajna Jai / Contributor
Habanada peppers are a breed of habaneros with a sweet, bright, melon-like flavor without the heat.
I had my fair share of the electric-orange habanadas last summer when our friends over at Knopp Branch Farm in Wharton were growing them by the bushel. We roasted them to make sauces, chutneys and salads or stuffed them to make fritters and curries. But my best and most delicious memory is when the restaurant’s pastry chef, Alexa Hernandez, made a gorgeous decadent cheesecake.
This year, when I saw the habanadas again at the table of Goodthyme Farm at the Urban Harvest farmers market, I combined them with sweet peaches and the cooling flavor of saffron to make another cheesecake. The papery white skin peels off easily when roasted, keeping the bright color intact.
Full disclosure: The recipe is a two- to three-day process, requires the use of different equipment, a water bath and attention to detail — but is well worth the trouble. Gather your neighbors for this showstopper dessert and do give it a try. It will keep for four to five days in the refrigerator and is best eaten the day after it is made. Almost any homemade or store-bought cookie will do for a crisp crust, but old, dry and leftover ones work best.