Instant Pot: Key Lime Cheesecake

Well here we are again, with a new year ahead of us! I'm really excited to take on 2017 and look forward to what it has in store. I'm especially excited to try new things in the kitchen and continue to share my culinary journey. One recent addition to my kitchen is an Instant Pot. I received one for Christmas and fell in love so much so, that I purchased a second one. Yes, the Instant Pot love is fierce in my kitchen these days. So, have you heard of an Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is a programmable pressure cooker and I couldn't have a better kitchen appliance. There's quite a bit of information out there on these bad boys and for good reason - it's definitely changing the way people cook! It's said to speed up cooking 2-6x times faster while using up to 70% less energy. I was skeptical at first and I had to get over the trauma of watching my parents use pressure cookers in the kitchen growing up. But after the initial hesitation and realizing I didn't blow up the kitchen, I was sold. After researching a bit, I soon found out this little pot has a cult like following... and I too, got sucked in with fellow "(Instant) Pot Heads."

For the month of January, I'll be sharing recipes I've made using the Instant Pot (IP). For these IP recipes, I'll be listing ingredients and needed equipment with step by step of what should be added and/or pressed. It's definitely changed how I cook at home daily, especially with our family's crazy busy schedule. So let's kick this off on a sweet note....

I know, it's January and everyone has healthy eating on the brain. Well, you can still be healthy and even have your slice of occasional cheesecake! If it helps, making a cheesecake in the Instant Pot forces you to portion control by using a smaller springform pan. Over the holidays, it seemed like fellow Pot Heads were all about their cheesecake. Many referred to popular pressure cooking recipes but I chose to stick with what I like and know. This recipe is far easier with less ingredients and is my adapted go-to cheesecake recipe for standard baking. I truly believe my Key Lime Cheesecake is foolproof and I think my husband fell in love with me again 10 times over after taking his first bite...

IP: Key Lime Cheesecake
original Joelen recipe

IP trivet
6" springform pan (or 7" springform pan)
silicone lid, paper towel, and/or piece of foil

1 cup water
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs, room temperatue
1/4 cup lime juice
zest of 2 limes
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
zest of 1 lime

In your Instant Pot:

1. Gather all your recipe ingredients. Add 1 cup water. Place trivet into the IP with a foil sling on each trivet handle. This allows for easily lifting the cheesecake from the IP when finished cooking.

2. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. 

3. Transfer crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan; Press crumbs on the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.

4. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cream cheese and condensed milk thoroughly. Add each egg one at a time, mixing for only a few seconds in between each addition. 

5. Lastly, add lime juice and grated lime zest. 

6. Transfer cheesecake mixture to the prepared springform pan, filling up to almost the top, leaving about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan - you most likely will have some leftover batter.

7. Cover the cheesecake with a silicone lid or with a piece of paper towel and a piece of foil. These will prevent water from getting on top of the cheesecake. If some water does get on top, no worries as it will not negatively affect the end result. Carefully place cheesecake onto the trivet set inside the IP. Check that it is plugged in, secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to sealing.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 35 minutes on HIGH pressure if using a 6" springform pan, or 37 minutes on HIGH pressure if using a 7" springform pan. The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 35 or 37 (the number of minutes you initially set ) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 35 or 37 minutes (depending on the size of your springform pan), allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 15 minutes if using a 6" springform pan or 17 minutes if using a 7" springform pan.While naturally releasing pressure, the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP for this and allow for several minutes to do so. When the display reflects 15 or 17 minutes since the IP has beeped, turn the setting on top of your IP to venting. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release pressure. I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP and carefully remove the trivet with cheesecake using the foil sling. Set on the counter to rest. Do not remove cheesecake from springform pan. The cheesecake should be slightly loose and jiggle in the middle.

Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 1 hour while still in springform pan and then transfer cheesecake covered in foil, into the fridge to chill overnight. As the cheesecake cools, it will naturally pull from the sides of the springform pan, making it easy to remove just before serving.

To serve, slice and garnish with whipped cream, lime zest and fresh berries if desired.

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