Nutty Almond Tart Crust Cradles Fluffy No-Bake Cheesecake and Juicy Summer Peaches, finished with a Sweet Amaretto and Honey Glaze.
You guys! I took a big step.
You know how I’ve mentioned before about being kinda new to this whole photography game? It’s been a real steep learning curve for me. If you look waaaaaaaay back at some of my first posts on YinMom YangMom (please don’t!) you may notice that I started out shooting pics on my iPhone.
Then I finally upgraded to a point & shoot.
A little better.
Early this Spring, I traded in the point & shoot for a dSLR. Yay! I saw an immediate improvement. However, in spite of the countless hours I have spent reading and researching and pinning articles about how to properly utilize the features of a dSLR camera, I have been too much of a fraidy-cat to turn that dial to M!
I’ve just been playing it safe, staying in that rut, timidly clicking away on Aperture Priority mode or Program mode, in spite of all the technical knowledge I’ve drilled into my own head! I don’t know why, I was just too scared to take that leap and put it into practice!
Well, there’s nothing like failure, repeated failure, to light a fire under your backside, right? I’ve had more Foodgawker *DECLINES* than I care to admit of late! Obviously there’s something I haven’t been doing right; time to step out of my comfort zone!
I figured these gorgeous summer peaches were about the prettiest subject anyone could ever focus their lens on…
They were rosy-sunset colored, and dripping with syrupy nectar.
Peaches in June!
The ripe flavors; nature’s bounty! Who’s with me?
Also, I got a new tart pan! I had been wanting this for a while and I finally just went for it. Something about that rectangular shape appeals to me. It’s kinda different, right?
I love the combination of stone fruit and almond. I think I remember hearing somewhere that they are distant cousins…(?) It’s no wonder they make such a perfect pairing.
This crust comes together in minutes with just a few ingredients. It also happens to be gluten-free! If you don’t have almond meal, just pulse some slivered or sliced almonds in the food processor until fine.
The filling is a no-bake cheesecake topped with slices of fresh, juicy peaches, and a kiss of honey-amaretto glaze makes it positively glisten.
So, how do you think I did with the photos? Any better you think? In case you are interested, or also trying to learn photography, like me, I shot these pics in natural daylight, in the morning when the light is a little softer and more filtered. I kept my aperture on the wider side (around f3 or 4), depending on how much I wanted the background to blur. The Iso was as low as I could get it, without having the picture look dark. (Mostly 200, but I bumped it up to 400 a couple times, when the sun went behind a dark cloud.) My shutter speed was set to 1/200, not sure if that was too fast or what but I don’t have a tripod so I figured I shouldn’t set it too slow since my hands get a little shaky…
I found this brilliant photography cheat sheet just a day or so ago:
I think it just breaks the whole scary business down so simply. I wish I had discovered this long ago!
As for the tart, the presentation didn’t completely live up to what I had envisioned (I think it looks a bit sloppy, boo), but the flavors make waaaaaaay up for that! The almond crust is nutty and a little bit chewy, the no bake cheesecake is pillowy and lightly sweet, and the amaretto honey glaze on those peaches is just glorious!
- 2½ cups almond flour/meal
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg white
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place all of the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and toss with a fork until combined.
- Press into the bottom and sides of a tart pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until just beginning to brown around the edges. Cool completely.
- Whip the cream until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add in half the sugar.
- Add the cream cheese, remaining sugar, vanilla bean paste or extract, and almond extract.
- Fill the cooled tart crust with an even layer of the cheesecake mixture. Top with sliced peaches.
- Combine the honey and amaretto or almond extract, and brush over the peaches.
Cool, effortless, and so deliciously summery!
Ps- If you have any constructive criticism for me (be HONEST! I really want to get better :)), or maybe a good photography tip or two, I’d love for you to share in the comments section!