This was a big week for my favorite pressure-cooking kitchen companion: can you believe that among all the super-sales on Prime Day, Instant Pot was the #1 top-selling non-Amazon-device item in the US? That means the cult following surrounding this multi-talented multi-cooker just grew by 215,000, and there are flocks of new fans that are just getting to know its time-saving/energy-efficient/flavor-boosting abilities. Welcome aboard, amigos! Let’s share recipes and celebrate with cheesecake.
In Instant Pot’s dessert repertoire, cheesecake is the unexpected star. What makes the pressure cooker such a good tool for this job? The high-pressure steam in the sealed vessel cooks the dense filling evenly, while the moist environment helps prevent the surface from drying and cracking. It’s the perfect storm for cheesecake perfection!
While I enjoy traditional cheesecakes on occasion, more often my cravings draw me to something not quite so staggeringly heavy. I like contrast in desserts, and need a little tang to cut through richness. A typical cheesecake of this size uses 1 pound (2 blocks) of cream cheese. I doctored my dessert by balancing just half a block with 1.5 cups of whole milk Greek yogurt, resulting in a cheesecake that’s still very rich but with a lighter, soft, silky texture. As written, the cheesecake is lightly sweetened, which is how I prefer it – but I don’t forsee any issues with increasing the sugar if you like your desserts to be sweet-sweet-sweet.
The nutrient profile will obviously vary based on the specific products you use, but I estimate that compared to a similar 8-slice cheesecake made from cream cheese only, my recipe has about 100 fewer calories per serving, with both total and saturated fat decreasing by about 40%.
(Don’t get the wrong idea… I’m not preaching stale ideas about the evils of fat – and also please realize that there’s still a substantial amount of it in this treat. This is just a tasty dessert that happens to apply a little moderation to a generally extreme food.)
Before you get started, proper bakeware is key. After dishing out my recommendations for the most useful Instant Pot accessories last holiday season, I ended up benefiting from the comment section because my best-ever blog-following big sister knows exactly how to pick the best gift. Full disclosure, sis: I had to exchange the very cool glass/silicone springform you picked out because it wasn’t quite small enough to fit in the Pot. Don’t miss this detail, shoppers: 7 inch maximum! But no worries, I downsized to this basic tin-coated steel pan, and have been quite satisfied with its performance. (Amazon affiliate link)
This baseline recipe is simply flavored with a touch of vanilla, so consider it a blank canvas for all of your wildest fruity/chocolatey dreams. Happy experimenting!