Do you have a pressure cooker? We love the way pressure cookers cook dishes faster and more “hands off.” Although cheesecake is often viewed as time consuming and a little tricky, cooking a cheesecake in the pressure cooker makes it fairly easy to get just right every time. The nice thing about using a pressure cooker is that it creates a built-in water bath that prevents cracking and gives the cheesecake a creamier texture.
We used an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot®) and a 6″ × 3″ push pan. You can use a springform pan or even small (4–8 oz.) widemouthed mason jars for individual servings. If you have a stovetop pressure cooker, then heat it until you have low pressure and cook for 35 minutes; then remove from heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.
We know that not everyone has a pressure cooker, but they are a growing trend for a reason! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, just add 2 drops of citrus essential oil to your favorite cheesecake recipe, and bake it as normal. You’ll love the hint of citrus the oils add to the dish!
Tangerine Lemon Cheesecake
- 1 pack (136 g) graham crackers or digestive biscuits
- 2 tsp. (8 g) sugar
- 2 Tbsp. (28 g) butter, melted
- 16 oz. (454 g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 2 tsp. (5 g) all-purpose flour or 1 Tbsp. (10 g) potato starch (optional, but makes a denser texture)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 drop tangerine or orange essential oil
- 1 drop lemon essential oil
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
Sweet Cream Topping
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) sour cream or greek yogurt
- 2 tsp. (8 g) sugar (more if using greek yogurt)
- 1 toothpick tangerine essential oil (optional)
- Prepare a 6″ (15 cm) cheesecake pan by greasing it and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
- Crust: To make the crust, place crackers and sugar in a blender, and pulse until small crumbs form.
Add the melted butter, and pulse until combined.
- Firmly press the mixture in the bottom of the pan and up 1″ (2.5 cm) of the side of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you work on the filling.
- Filling: For the filling, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, and essential oils in an electric stand mixer or with a sturdy hand mixer. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, lightly mixing until just combined with each egg. Be careful not to overmix the eggs.
- Pour the filling on top of the crust (make sure to cover the crust completely).
- Pat the sides to get out as many air bubbles as possible. This can take a few minutes. You can also pop the air bubbles that come to the surface with a pointy knife or fork.
- Cover the cheesecake with a paper towel, and then secure the paper towel with aluminum foil. Make sure none of the paper towel is visible (it can act as a wick and bring moisture to the surface of the cheesecake). Place the cheesecake in the middle of an aluminum sling (a long section of aluminum foil folded in thirds lengthwise).
- Pour 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) of water into the pressure cooker, and place the trivet in the pot. Lift the cheesecake using the aluminum sling, and gently place it in the pressure cooker. Fold the sling over the cheesecake and secure the lid in place. Make sure the pressure valve is sealed.
- Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, and allow the pressure to release naturally for 18 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
- After all the pressure has been released, gently lift the cheesecake out using the aluminum sling. Remove the foil and paper towel. Tilt the cheesecake pan, and dab off any liquid from the side of the pan. The center of the cheesecake should be a little jiggly, but not wet. Note: If it doesn’t look cooked enough (i.e., it looks too wet), return cheesecake to pressure cooker, and cook for 5 minutes with an 18-minute natural pressure release.
- Sweet Cream Topping: Mix up the sweet cream topping by whisking the sour cream and sugar together until combined. Stir in a toothpick of tangerine essential oil if you want a little extra citrusy flavor. Spread the mixture on top of the cheesecake. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour.
- Lightly cover, and chill in the refrigerator. The pan can be removed easily after an hour in the refrigerator. If you want to eat it by that point, no one will blame you! However, the texture will improve significantly if it can chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!
- If you don’t have a cheesecake pan, you can use small mason jars for single servings—just divide the ingredients among each of the jars. For 4 oz. widemouthed jars, cook for 4 minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release. For 8 oz. widemouthed jars, cook for 7 minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release.
- If you have a stovetop pressure cooker, heat it until you have low pressure, and cook for 35 minutes; then remove from heat, and allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Try experimenting with different cookies for the crust. Chocolate sandwich cookies, Biscoff®, vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, or other crispy cookies can be used.
- This cheesecake tastes especially yummy when topped with this Lemon Curd or our Lemon-Berry Sauce (recipe below).
Ingredients & Supplies:
- 3/4 cup (~110–15 g) frozen or fresh berries
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 1 drop lemon essential oil
- If using frozen berries, place all berry topping ingredients in a pan on the stovetop, and heat just until the berries have thawed.
- Place berry topping ingredients in the food processor, and pulse until mixed.
- Use hot or cold to top cheesecake—either way it is delicious!
Note: Leftover berry sauce can be used to flavor plain yogurt or kefir, or it can be used on pancakes, waffles, or crepes.