For those of us who have been cooking for a long time, it can be a very good thing to sometimes step outside our comfort zones and be a complete beginner again. Humbling, to be sure, but good for our characters.
This is how I've felt over the past few months with my Instant Pot. Everything about it was new, from figuring out how to put the lid on and which buttons to push to getting used to the fact that I couldn't just lift the lid to check on my food whenever I wanted to.
There was a lot of anxiety and a few oopsies, as well as a surprising number of successes, even in the early days.
Get the book! The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by Coco Morante
I owe all my newfound confidence with pressure cooking to our very own Coco Morante, who has been sharing her pressure cooker recipes with us on Simply Recipes for the past year. She held my hand, answered my panicked text messages, and coached me along every step of the way.
I am absolutely thrilled that she's now come out with her very own book, The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook.
She and her publisher are also giving one lucky Simply Recipes reader a copy of her book, some pressure cooker accessories, and -- wait for it -- a new Instant Pot! Keep on reading for details on that fun opportunity.
If you've loved Coco's recipes here on Simply Recipes (like this Beef Chili and these Chipotle Chicken and Rice Bowls, then you'll love her cookbook. It's not quite as nice as having her on speed dial, but it's the next best thing.
The recipes in the book go WAY beyond pressure cooker staples like dried beans and chicken stock (though those are there too). She covers breakfast, dinner, side dishes, and dessert, with plenty of options for vegetarians, omnivores, and those of us following special diets.
So far, I've made her Risotto with Lemon and Peas (a few times actually), her Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, and the New York Cheesecake recipe I'm sharing below. Up next, I'm looking at the recipe for Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs, Carrot-Parsnip Soup with Ginger, and Sausage and Green Onion Strata. Yum!
Ok, let's talk cheesecake. From the moment Coco told me she was working on a cheesecake recipe for her book, I knew I had to try it. The idea of cooking a cheesecake in a pressure cooker just sounds so bizarre and improbable!
My cheesecake emerged from the pressure cooker with zero cracks and only a few pockmarks from where water dripped back onto the surface from the lid. The water was quickly dabbed away with a paper towel, and then a thin coating of sour cream covered up the remaining blemishes.
The texture was super creamy and velvety, and the the flavor had just the right balance of sweetness and tang. I loved it. My husband loved it. My neighbors loved it -- especially when I sent them home with half the cake.
One thing to note: This recipe makes a 7-inch cheesecake, which might be slightly smaller than some of you are used to. This because only a smallish pan will fit inside the Instant Pot bowl. This cheesecake would be just the right amount for a dinner party of six or eight people. Leftover cheesecake also keeps well for several days.
- Get the book! The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by Coco Morante
- New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.
Ways to Top Your Cheesecake!
Try a drizzle of warm caramel sauce or chocolate sauce over your slice of cheesecake! Or go fruity -- cook down a few cups of frozen berries with a few tablespoons of sugar until it makes a jammy sauce.
Pressure Cooker Cheesecake + First Look at The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook
Reprinted with permission from The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook by Coco Morante copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
- For the crust:
- 8 graham cracker sheets
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Prepare the pan:
Line the base of a 7-inch round springform pan with an 8-inch round of parchment paper. Secure the collar on the springform pan, closing it onto the base so the parchment round is clamped in. Lightly grease the sides of the pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. (I traced a circle on parchment using the bottom of the springform pan as the guide. This worked great! –Emma)
Make the crust:
To make the crust, in a food processor, process the graham crackers into fine crumbs. You should have 3/4 cup. (I recommend measuring out the crumbs as I had slightly more than 3/4 cup. –Emma) Add the brown sugar and melted butter and, using one-second pulses, process the mixture until a uniform, sandy texture forms.
Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan and press firmly in an even layer onto the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to allow the crust to firm up a bit while you make the filling.
Make the filling:
To make the filling, in the now-empty food processor, combine the softened cream cheese, heavy cream, granulated sugar, flour, and vanilla. (I wiped the food processor clean before doing this step. –Emma)
Process the mixture in about 5 one-second pulses, just until it becomes a smooth filling, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
Add the eggs and the egg yolk one at a time, processing for 2 one-second pulses after each addition. Do not overprocess the filling, or you will end up with an overly fluffy cheesecake. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, gently stir in any remaining streaks of egg yolk. It is fine if a few streaks of egg yolk remain.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Tap the pan firmly against the countertop a few times to remove any air bubbles in the filling.
Make a sling for the cheesecake:
Fold a 20-inch-long sheet of aluminum foil in half lengthwise twice to create a 3-inch-wide strip. Center it underneath the pan to act as a sling for lifting the pan in and out of the Instant Pot.
Assemble everything in the pressure cooker:
Pour 1 1/2 cups water into the pot and place the trivet in the pot.
Holding the ends of the foil sling, lift the cake pan and lower it into the pot. Fold over the ends of the sling so they fit inside the pot.
Pressure cook the cheesecake:
Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Manual setting and set the cooking time for 32 minutes at high pressure. (My Instant Pot took about 8 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking time actually began. –Emma)
Make the sour cream topping:
While the cheesecake is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and confectioners’ sugar.
Release the pressure naturally and remove the cheesecake from the pot:
When the timer goes off, leave the pot on its default Keep Warm setting for 20 minutes, letting the pressure release naturally.
Open the pot, taking care not to drip condensation from the lid onto the cheesecake. Wearing heat-resistant mitts, grasp the ends of the foil sling, lift the springform pan out of the Instant Pot, and transfer the cheesecake to a cooling rack.
Use a paper towel to dab up any moisture that may have settled on the top. (Be sure to dab up any water that pools on the sides too! – Emma) The cake will be puffed up and jiggle a bit in the center when it comes out of the pot, but it will settle and set up as it cools.
Add the sour cream topping:
When the cheesecake has deflated about 1/2 inch, spread the sour cream mixture on top in a smooth, even layer. Let the cheesecake cool on the rack for 1 hour.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or for up to 24 hours before unmolding
Unmold and serve the cheesecake:
To serve, unclasp the collar on the pan and lift it off, then use the parchment border to tug the cheesecake off the base of the pan onto a plate, where it can be sliced and served.
(I ran a thin spatula between the cheesecake and the mold to make sure it released cleanly. You can also clean up any rough edges with the spatula before serving. Also, m y leftover cheesecake kept just fine in the fridge for about a week! So good! –Emma)