Cheesecake seems to be the one thing that new pressure cooker cooks seem most excited to cook in their new pressure cookers. And who can blame them. The pressure cooker is the perfect environment for “baking” cheesecake, and pressure cooker cheesecake is fabulous – rich, smooth and creamy.
Making cheesecake in the pressure cooker is super easy, but the key to making perfect pressure cooker cheesecake is having the ingredients at room temperature, especially the cream cheese and eggs.
Occasionally I’ll get a question asking why the texture of their cheesecake was lumpy instead of smooth and creamy. And pretty much without fail when I ask if their cream cheese was at room temperature, the answer is no.
I’ve done it myself in the past. You get impatient to get baking, and think I’ll just beat the cream cheese until it’s soft. Then when you think it’s smooth enough you add the cold eggs, and the mixture still has a few lumps, so you over beat it and the texture of the baked cheesecake is lumpy instead of the silky, smooth cheesecake you were craving.
The easiest way to soften the cream cheese is to leave it at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
But if you’re in a hurry to make the cheesecake, you can put the cream cheese in a Ziploc bag and place it in warm water (not hot) for about 10 minutes – 15 minutes. Add the eggs to the warm water and they’ll be at room temperature in about five minutes. I usually just fill up the small side of my sink, but you could use a bowl as well.
Another tip for making perfect pressure cooker cheesecake is to use a foil sling. The sling makes lifting the hot cheesecake out of the pressure cooker a breeze. To make a foil sling, just take a long strip of aluminum foil and fold it lengthwise. I like to fold it into thirds lengthwise.
Your cheesecake will set up more when it’s refrigerated, but if it is still runny in the middle, put it back in the pressure cooker and cook it longer. Cheesecake “baked” in the pressure cooker is much more forgiving than baked in the oven, and you won’t get dried out crusty edges if you cook it longer. A longer cook time will generally result in a denser, more New York style cheesecake. Timing can vary based on the pan you’re using, whether it’s covered with foil, and the ingredients in the cheesecake.
Also, don’t press your crumbs too high up the sides of the springform pan because you don’t want to get moisture in your crust.
I’ve posted five cheesecake recipes on Pressure Cooking Today. My favorite pressure cooker cheesecake that I’ve made so far is my Pressure Cooker Samoa Cheesecake. It has the texture of a New York cheesecake, richer and denser.
The New York Cheesecake with a Toffee Pecan Shortbread Cookie Crust is my version of a recipe sent to me from one of my wonderful readers.
If you’re looking for a great fall dessert, give my Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake a try. It’s a cross between cheesecake and pumpkin pie.
The first cheesecake I made in the pressure cooker was my Meyer Lemon Cheesecake adapted from a cheesecake recipe by the queen of pressure cooking, Lorna Sass. It’s a lighter, less dense cheesecake that bakes in only 15 minutes.
What about you? What’s your favorite cheesecake flavor?