When Bobby told me he bought a pan to make pressure cooker cheesecake, my first thought was, “Why?” I know he likes to try new things in the kitchen, but seriously, who ever heard of a cheesecake that is made in a pressure cooker? So I was a bit apprehensive. Still, I know that when Bobby sets his mind to something, he is kind of like a dog with a bone. I figured if it turned out badly, then no harm was done.
The other interesting thing about this whole cheesecake thing, is that he started talking about it while we were on a 21-day cleanse. We wouldn’t even be “allowed” to eat the cheesecake until Saturday, Jan. 21, anyhow! Well, the cheesecake looked beautiful. I told friends that I might have to drizzle chocolate syrup on top because I really am not a huge cheesecake fan. On Saturday morning we decided the cheesecake would be our breakfast. (Hey, if you are going to break a cleanse, then you might as well go big or go home.) Even with my lack of enthusiasm for cheesecake, I was pretty impressed. The cheesecake was creamy with just enough flavor to be tasty. Bobby used Biscoff cookies for the crust (which if I have to choose a spice cookie as my favorite, it would be Biscoff). I liked the crust, but the Biscoff flavor didn’t really come through that much.
All in all, I really enjoyed the cheesecake. The next piece I have, I might have to put chocolate syrup on it — just because that is who I am.
I (Bobby) belong to an Instapot Pressure Cooker group on Facebook. I don’t spend much time looking at the posts, but for some reason I looked to see what was added. To my surprise, it was about making a cheesecake in a pressure cooker. It seemed like in the back of my mind I knew you could do it, so I was immediately intrigued at the prospects of making a homemade cheesecake. I have never been fond of using a springform pan or giving the cheesecake a proper water bath. But, this recipe was different.
I used a 6-inch cake pan that has a bottom that is removable. This makes it possible to push the cake up and out of the pan from the bottom. (I bought my pan from Amazon, check it out here.) The parchment paper made for an easy release once the cheesecake, or as Alton Brown call’s it, a cheese pie, was finished cooking (and resting). I was so looking forward to trying the crust made of Biscoff cookies. While it added a nice touch, it did not pack the punch I was hoping for.
I got the recipe from the This Old Gal blog, which I would highly recommend you visit. You can do so here.
Pressure Cooker New York Cheesecake
18 Biscoff cookies
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
To make the crust, I put the cookies in my food processor and turned them into crumbs. I melted the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. I added the sugar and butter to the crumbs in the food processor and mixed them together.
I prepared the pan by buttering the bottom disk and sides and lining it with parchment paper. I cut a round disk in the paper for the bottom and cut a strip to go along the inside. While it probably was not necessary, I buttered the parchment paper after I lined the pan with it. I pressed the crumbs into the pan, and built the crust up higher along the sides. I put it in the freezer for 20 minutes while I prepared the filling.
16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
2 eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
I kept the cream cheese and eggs out on the counter for a few hours. Once the crust was formed in the pan and placed in the freezer, I began making the filling. I wiped out the food processor and put the cream cheese, sugar, heavy cream, flour, zest and vanilla extract into it. While the recipe called for both orange and lemon zest, I had lemons, but I did not have any oranges. I had some tangerines, but decided to use the lemon zest only. I used the plastic blade on my Cuisinart 7-cup food processor, and mixed the ingredients until they were nice and smooth. I used a rubber spatula to wipe down the sides of the food processor a couple times.
Once the mixture was smooth, I added the eggs and yoke one at a time. The recipe says to only beat the egg for 1 second, otherwise the eggs will get worked too much and become stringy. This part was a little scary. I did not want to overwork the eggs, but they did not mix very well at just 1 second, so I went an additional second. When I added the two eggs and the egg yolk, I decided to get out the rubber spatula and mix it up a little more by hand.
With the filling completed, I poured it into the pan. I was surprised that it nearly went to the top of the 6-inch pan. The original recipe used a 6-inch pan, which is smaller than you would think. I believe the person who came up with the recipe used a 6-quart pressure cooker. My 8-quart would have handled a larger pan, but I am glad I used the smaller one. The reason for this is because there was more room inside my pressure cooker. Had I gone with a bigger pan, I would have needed some way to lower the pan in and out because of the confined space. On This Old Gal blog, you can learn how to make an aluminum foil sling to lower and remove the pan. Like I said, I had plenty of room, so I had no problem putting it in and taking it out.
Before I put the pan in the pressure cooker, I folded up a paper towel and covered the cheesecake with it. I also used a piece of aluminum foil to cover the pan and hold the paper towel in place. Do not create a tight seal with the aluminum foil. You want to keep it loose. So, crimp it tightly in just a couple places. The main point of this is to protect the cake from the water you will place in the pressure cooker. With the cheesecake protected, I was ready to put it in the cooker.
However, a trivet needs to be placed on the bottom of the pressure cooker because you have to put 1 1/2 cups in the pressure cooker. I didn’t have a trivet. I thought about wadding up some aluminum foil and using a number of foil balls to raise the pan. But, I was worried about the bottom disk getting pushed up during the cooking process. I have a single-serving casserole dish (like this one here), and I turned it upside down and put it in the pressure cooker. Because of the length of it, I did not have to worry about the bottom getting pushed up.
With the casserole dish in place, I lowered in the cheesecake, sealed the electric pressure cooker and set the time for 37 minutes. When the time elapsed, I kept the cake inside for another 18 minutes, letting the pressure lower naturally. I did not use the release valve. I removed the cheesecake and placed it on the counter, where it would sit for the next couple hours. (I also removed the foil and paper towel.) As soon as it came out, I put on the sour cream completer layer.
Top Completer Layer
½ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar
I whisked the sour cream and sugar in a bowl and spread it on top of the cheesecake. It sat on the counter a couple hours and then I used a can of unopened olives to push the bottom up. I put the can on the counter and placed the cake pan on top of the can. Once it was steady, I slowly pushed down on the sides of the cake pan. Because of the parchment paper, it came out of the pan quite easily.
The cheesecake was covered and placed in the refrigerator, where it remained for about 36 hours (Thursday night to Saturday morning). I think 12 hours in the fridge would be sufficient.
Tasting the Cheesecake
When it came time to try it, the cheesecake was extremely moist. Because of the water in the pressure cooker, the top of the cheesecake did not crack. The cheesecake had a good taste to it. It was one of the best cheesecakes I ever had. (My friend Jeanine made the best cheesecake I ever had.)
Making the cake too a lot of time, though it was easy. None of the steps were difficult. If you have a pressure cooker, then I definitely recommend you try making this recipe. You will not regret it.