If you follow the world of electric pressure cookers, like the Instant Pot and similar devices, you will perhaps have heard of the idea of making cheesecake in your pot. While this sounds a bit crazy, there is a really good reason to give it a try: uniformity. Cheesecakes can be difficult to make without over-baking them, leading to cracked, dry cake that people leave on their plate.
Making a smooth, creamy cheesecake is not just the province of expert bakers: you just need clear, repeatable instructions. There is an AllRecipes.com page on the details of making cheesecake, suggesting a water bath for uniform heating and cautioning you not to succumb to lower-fat cream cheese, that doesn’t have sufficient fat to set up properly.
You can also find a very nice cheesecake recipe here, but it requires that you leave the cake in the closed oven for 6 hours after baking at low temperature, followed by chilling in the refrigerator.
We decided to try out making a cheese cake following the fairly standard recipe and procedures given by Jill Selkowitz, who writes an excellent, if somewhat prolix, blog under the name ThisOldGal. So, this is her New York Cheesecake recipe with reduced discussion (but not reduced fat). This recipe is quite simple and you can do it in about 45 minutes. You still have to chill the cheesecake for several hours or overnight, though, so it is firm enough to cut.
To bake a cheesecake in the InstantPot or any of its cousins, you need a small spring form or drop bottom cake pan. We bought a Kaiser Noblesse 7” springform pan at our local kitchen store, so we could make sure it fits. The actual pan base is about 7”, but the interior of the pan only 6 ½ “.
For the crust, we used Nilla wafers, but you could use graham crackers or any kind of cookies you like.
- 24 Nilla wafer cookies (about ¾ cup when crushed)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 ½ Tb butter, melted
- 16 oz full fat cream cheese (2 8 oz packages)at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp flour
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp grated lemon peel
- ½ tsp grated orange peel
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk at room temperature
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tsp sugar
- Melt the butter in a microwave for a minute at 50% power.
- Chop up the Nilla wafers in a food processor or blender. Add the butter, and process until smooth.
3. Butter the inside of the spring form pan and press the crumbs to the bottom and sides of the pan so they go up the sides and inch or even two. Put the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes to solidify the crust.
4. Wipe out the food processor, and add the cream cheese, cut into 1-2” pieces. Add the sugar, flour and vanilla.
5. Grate the lemon and orange peel into the processor bowl using a microplane grater (or any other sort of grater). Pulse until smooth.
6. Add the eggs and egg yolk and pulse until again smooth.
7. Add the cream and fold in with a rubber spatula.
8. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour in the filling.
9. Cover the pan with a layer of paper towel to prevent water from soaking in, and then with aluminum foil.
10. Put the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot and pour 1 ½ cups water.
11. Make a sling of some aluminum foil (we used heavy duty foil) so you can lift the hot pan out after cooking. Put the sling in the pot and put the cheesecake pan on top of it.
12. Close the pot and cook at high pressure for 37 minutes. Allow the pressure to subside for about 15 minutes (normal release) and open the pot.
13. Lift out the baked cheesecake and unwrap it. If there is any water on the cheesecake surface, dab If dry with a paper towel.
14. Immediately spread the sour cream topping over the hot cheesecake, so it incorporates itself into the cheesecake. The cake may still be jiggly in the middle but will set up on standing and cooling. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for about an hour.
15. Chill for 4-5 hours or overnight.
Serve with berries dotted with whipped cream.