An Instant Pot isn’t just for making soups and braises. The pressure cooking function can also be used to make a cheesecake with a lusciously tender texture. The only special tools you need are a 7-inch (15-cm) springform pan that fits inside the pot, plus a sheet of aluminum foil, which you fold into a strip about 20 inches (50 cm) long and 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. Use it to lower the filled springform pan into the Instant Pot, and again to remove the cake when it’s done.
Instant Pot Cheesecake with Cherry Compote
For the compote:
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
- 1 lb. (500 g) fresh or thawed frozen cherries, pitted
- 1 strip lemon zest
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
For the crust:
- 4 oz. (125 g) graham crackers
- 1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1 lb. (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
For the sour cream topping:
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sour cream
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
1. To make the compote, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add the cherries and lemon zest, bring the liquid back to a simmer and cook until the cherries are slightly softened but still hold their shape, about 2 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 Tbs. water until the cornstarch is dissolved. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the simmering cherries and cook, stirring gently, until the liquid is clear and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer the compote to a bowl, remove and discard the lemon zest, and let the compote cool to room temperature.
3. To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the graham crackers and brown sugar and pulse to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined. Press the mixture firmly in the bottom of a 7-inch (18-cm) round springform pan. Set aside.
4. To make the filling, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, granulated sugar and sour cream and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt and beat on medium-high speed until evenly blended, about 1 minute. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
5. Pour 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) water into an Instant Pot and insert the steam rack. Using a foil sling (see note), lower the cake pan onto the rack. Tuck the foil ends over the cake, lock the lid in place, and turn the valve to “sealing.” Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook at high pressure for 28 minutes.
6. Once the pressure cooking is complete, let the steam release naturally for 15 minutes, then turn the valve to “venting” to release any residual steam. Remove the lid and, using the sling, lift out the cake pan. Let the cake cool, then cover and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
7. To make the sour cream topping, in a bowl, combine the sour cream and confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
8. To serve, remove the pan sides and spread the sour cream topping evenly on top of the cake. If desired, use a fine-mesh sieve to lightly dust the cheesecake with confectioners’ sugar. Cut the cake into wedges and serve each slice with some of the cherry compote on top. Serves 6 to 8.
For this and more recipes that are big on flavor but short on prep time, check out The Instant Pot Cookbook, by the cooks of the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen.