Ginger & Peach Icebox Cake

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Stay cool as the weather heats up with this easy-to-assemble Ginger & Peach Icebox Cake, made by alternating layers of spiced gingersnap cookies, tangy pastry cream, and fresh peaches.

Ginger Peach Icebox Cake Ingredients
1 recipe pastry cream (bee below) or 4 cups vanilla pudding
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup heavy cream*
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
About 50 small gingersnap cookies (roughly 1¾-inch in diameter)
4 ripe peaches, sliced into very thin wedges

Directions
Place the pastry cream or vanilla pudding in a large bowl and use a hand mixer to whip in the softened cream cheese and heavy cream (*skip the heavy cream if you opt for vanilla pudding) until the mixture is reaches a smooth, fluffy texture. Whip in the ground ginger and cinnamon.

To assemble the icebox cake, gather a 9-inch square glass baking dish or one of a similar size. Arrange a single layer of gingersnap cookies, breaking some into smaller pieces if necessary. Scoop on one-third of the pastry cream mixture and spread it into an even layer. Distribute one-third of the peach slices over the cream. Repeat this cookies-cream-peaches process two more times, and finish by topping the icebox cake with a design of peaches and raspberries. Chill the cake for at least 3 hours or until the gingersnap cookies soften with moisture from the cream and fruit.

Alternatively, you can build this dessert in small mason jars for beautiful, individual portions.

Pastry Cream
6 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar, divided
⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups whole milk, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt

Pastry Cream Directions
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ½ cup sugar, cornstarch, and ½ cup whole milk.

Pour the rest of the whole milk into a medium sauce pot and add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Heat the sweetened milk over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge.

Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Transfer the uncooked pastry cream mixture back to the medium sauce pot and set over medium heat. Gently whisk the mixture, making sure to frequently scrape the bottom, until it reaches a bare simmer for one minute. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.

Transfer the pastry cream to a large bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the top surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in refrigerator until cold, about 3 hours.

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