Oh, Instant Pot, how do I love thee?
You have a special place in my heart and my kitchen.
You’ve transformed and streamlined the way I cook. Brown rice, dry beans, hard-boiled eggs, steel-cut oats, steamed veggies… every day you delight me.
And then… I discovered you can even make CHEESECAKE. *Swoon* Will you be my Valentine? 🙂
An Amazing Discovery
After I purchased my Instant Pot a few years ago, I joined a few Facebook forums for Instant Pot users… and quickly became more overwhelmed than ever! Ha!
Thank goodness for Katie’s post on Kitchen Stewardship titled “10 Basic Instant Pot Techniques”. It was the perfect place to start learning how to use my IP without all the confusing jargon. You see, I’ve been a contributing writer for Kitchen Stewardship for a few years now, but I’ve been a faithful reader for at least the last 7 years.
I’ve learned so much from Katie and the other great contributors at Kitchen Stewardship. It’s always the first place I go for tips and information on cooking because Kitchen Stewardship is all about keeping real food obtainable and baby steps to learning new things.
After I felt a little more comfortable using the IP, I revisited some of those forums… and kept seeing gorgeous photos of cheesecake pop up over and over again.
Wait, WHAT? Can you make cheesecake in the Instant Pot? I had to try it myself.
The 80/20 Rule (and some healthier tweaks)
Now I know… cheesecake is not considered a “healthy food” and Kitchen Stewardship is focused on helping us make healthier choices for our families. Yet, it’s my opinion that indulging every once in a while is probably not going to negatively affect our health in the long term (unless, of course, you have legitimate dietary or health concerns, such as Celiac Disease or Auto-Immune Disorders).
In our house, we do our best to eat “clean” 80% of the time and not fret about the other 20%. This system helps me stay sane and keeps me from unhealthy obsession and guilt about food choices. It works for us. Maybe it works for you too!
That said, I did tweak this recipe so I could incorporate some “healthier” options, such as using “real food” ingredients like real sour cream (not the stuff full of additives), pastured butter, farm fresh eggs (from my hens!) and cane sugar, instead of GMO beet sugar.
I also discovered that Gluten Free Graham crackers work great in this recipe, in case you or your loved ones need to avoid gluten (I used Pamela’s brand).
While this is certainly NOT a health food (I mean, obviously! It’s a dessert!), it IS slightly better 😉
What You Will Need
Besides the Instant Pot, the most important thing you need is a springform pan that will fit inside your Instant Pot. What size you need depends on what model of Instant Pot you own.
I measured my Instant Pot and knew that I needed a pan smaller than 7″ in diameter. I happened to spot one at Marshall’s/T.J. Max for a great price. Of course, I took it home and made a cheesecake to celebrate my great find! This one on Amazon looks like it would work for me as well.
A Few Tips Before You Start
Here are a few suggestions to ensure your cheesecake turns out to be AMAZING!
- Be sure to use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer. It’s critical that you do NOT overmix the batter, or it will result in a “souffle” type cheesecake! Stand mixers are a bit of overkill for this job.
- ALL INGREDIENTS MUST BE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE before you begin. Do NOT skip this step or you will have a lumpy cheesecake!
- This cheesecake is best made the DAY BEFORE YOU PLAN ON SERVING IT, so plan ahead accordingly!
- You will need parchment paper to line the bottom and sides of your springform pan.
There are 4 steps to making the cheesecake, so be sure to give yourself enough time to complete the steps fully:
- Make the crust
- Make the batter
- Pressure cook the cheesecake
- Cool and chill overnight
A simple, yet delicious cheesecake recipe for your Instant Pot made with “cleaner” ingredients
- 10 Organic graham crackers, finely ground (can also use GF graham crackers)
- 4 tbsp Organic or grass-fed butter, melted
- Pinch of sea salt or Real Salt
- 2 tsp – 1 tbsp brown sugar (optional –
crustis plenty sweet without it)
- 16 oz Organic cream cheese (two 8oz packages), at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup Organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup Organic sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp Non-GMO corn starch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 pinches of sea salt or Real Salt
Berry Topping (optional)
Before you Begin
- Bring ALL ingredients to room temperature before beginning. Do NOT skip this step!
Making the Crust
- Grind the Graham crackers in a food processor or place them in a Ziploc bag and roll with rolling pin.
- Mix the Graham crackers, the salt
andthe brown sugar (if using) in a small bowl.
- Add the melted butter to the bowl and mix well.
- Line the sides and bottom of the cheesecake pan with parchment paper.
- Pour the crust mixture into the prepared pan and firmly press into place, using your hands, a small mason jar bottom or a spoon.
- Place pan in the freezer while you prepare the batter.
Making the Cheesecake Batter
- Mix sugar, salt
andcornstarch in a small bowl.
- In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, briefly break up the cream cheese, mixing for no more than 10 seconds.
- Add half of the sugar mixture to the cream cheese. Mix on low speed, just until incorporated (about 20 seconds). Scrape down the sides and add remaining sugar mixture. Beat just until incorporated. Scrap down sides of
- Add sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat just until incorporated, then scrape down sides of
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing for 15 seconds or less, scraping down sides of
bowlafter adding. DO NOT OVERMIX during this step
- Scrape down sides and beaters, and fold the ingredients a few times.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Tap cheesecake gently against the counter to make air bubbles rise to the surface. Pop air bubbles with a toothpick until satisfied (this is a perfectionist step. Ha!).
Pressure Cooking the Cheesecake
- Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker. Place
steamerrack inside cooker (so cheesecake pan doesn’t touch the bottom).
- Create a “sling” out of foil to help you lower the cheesecake into the cooker without dropping it.
- Gently place cheesecake in the pressure cooker on top of the steamer rack. Leave sling in place.
- Close lid and pressure cook on High Pressure for 26 minutes and Full Natural Release.
- Natural Release will take about 7-10 minutes. Open lid carefully.
- There may be some condensation on top of the cheesecake. Very gently blot surface of cheesecake with a paper towel to remove excess condensation.
Cool and Chill
- Using the foil sling, carefully remove cheesecake and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- After about 15 minutes, gently remove the parchment paper from the sides, using a knife if needed.
- Chill cheesecake in the fridge for at least 4-8 hours. Overnight is best!
Optional Berry Topping
- Place berries (frozen or fresh) in a small
sauce pan. Add a splash of water if desired.
- Cook on low until fruit starts to release juices.
- Mash with a potato masher or mix with a stick blender
fruitbegins to break down, slowly add honey or maple syrup, a teaspoon at a time, until you reach desired sweetness.
- After gently cooking about 10 minutes, slowly stir in the dissolved
corn starch, mixing well until thickened.
- Remove from heat and serve over cheesecake.
Trouble Getting Healthy Food on the Table Every Day?
Enter Real Plans
Real Plans is an online meal planning software & app that is probably smarter than I am.
It works with all food restrictions to help families find the perfect meal, generate a shopping list, scale it up if needed, and you’re totally in control. Use your own fav recipes, skip a suggestion and tell Real Plans all the foods you don’t like/can’t eat, and it will still do half the work of meal planning (or more) for you.
Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type, including GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Whole30, vegetarian and more!
Valentine’s Day, Easter, birthday’s or over the holidays are the perfect opportunities to test out this recipe for you and your loved ones.
I love the fact that the Instant Pot cheesecake is the perfect size – not too big, not too small. As much as we love cheesecake, it’s so rich and indulgent that we could never finish a whole cheesecake made in a larger springform pan!
Make your Instant Pot work for you!
The Instant Pot has gotten a lot of hype over the last couple years – for good reason. It really can do just about anything.
Although it can seem a bit daunting to use at first, it really becomes quite simple once you give it a try.
Use the techniques, tips and simple recipes from the Instant Pot Guidebook to get started, and before you know it, your Instant Pot will become indispensable!