Sweet and sour, tart and creamy, pressure cooker key lime cheesecake is a fantastic balance of flavors. I had doubts about that. I worried I was making the Sour Patch Kids of pastry, something only a lemon-head would love. Turns out, that balance of tart and sweet is why key lime pie is a classic dessert.
And, thanks to my pressure cooker, key lime cheesecake is easy to make, even for a dedicated non-baker like me. My wife, the chemistry teacher, is the baker in the family – she’s precise about measuring. I’m a close enough is good enough kind of cook. I have to focus when I’m baking, continually reminding myself to measure the ingredients. Even then I feel like I forgot something. (Did I add the vanilla? Yes, I did. Phew.) That’s why I’m such a fan of pressure cooker cheesecake – it is hard to mess it up too badly. Much to my surprise, friends and family are asking me to bring dessert. That’s right, Mr. I Don’t Bake is now known for cheesecake. How did that happen?
Now for the question I know is coming in the comments: “You do some cheesecake recipes covered with foil, and some without. Why is that?”
Because, covering the pan with foil seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was a mistake. I don’t cover my pressure cooker cheesecake with foil anymore. Sure, the foil does its job, protecting the cheesecake from condensation. It also “protects” the center of the cheesecake from heat. That’s not good – it results in longer, less even cooking. If you read my original cheesecake recipe, you’ll see me complaining about how varied my cooking times were – that was the foil getting in the way. I gave up on the foil, and my cheesecakes immediately improved.Print
Pressure Cooker Key Lime Cheesecake. Sweet, tart, and citrusy, cheesecake is easy if you use a pressure cooker.
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 pound regular cream cheese, softened (2 (8-ounce) packages)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed key lime juice (about 4 key limes)
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest (zest from 2 key limes)
- 2 large eggs
- Whipped topping
- Slices of key lime (to garnish)
- Prepare the pan: Spray a 7-inch cheesecake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, then spread evenly across the bottom of the pan and pack down, pushing the crumbs up the sides a little.
- Make the cheesecake filling: Soften the cream cheese by leaving it out at room temperature for at least 1 hour. (Or soften the cream cheese in the microwave, 30 seconds to 1 minute). Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar and beat on medium speed until the sugar is completely blended, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Add the vanilla, sour cream, key lime juice, and key lime zest, and beat on low speed until completely blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer again and scrape down the sides. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each on low speed until just blended. (Don’t over-beat the eggs.) Pour the filling into the prepared cheesecake pan.
- Pressure cook the cheesecake for 20 minutes with a natural pressure release: Put 2 cups of water and the cooking rack in the pressure cooker pot. If your rack does not have handles, make an aluminum foil sling to lift the cheesecake: fold a 2-foot long piece of aluminum foil over a few times, until it is a long strip about 4 inches wide. Center the cheesecake pan on the sling and carefully lower it into the pot, setting it on the rack. Lock the lid on the cooker and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes in an electric PC or 16 minutes in a stovetop PC, then let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 more minutes. (If you’re in a hurry, you can quick release any pressure left in the pot after 20 minutes.)
- Cool the cheesecake, top with whipped topping, garnish, and serve: Lift the cheesecake out of the pressure cooker. Loosen the cheesecake by running a paring knife around the edge of the pan. Cool the pan at room temperature for an hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Top with whipped topping and thin slices of key lime as garnish.
- Can’t find key limes? Here in Ohio, key limes are a seasonal item; I can only get key limes for a few months of the year; I use regular limes when key limes are not available. For regular limes, 1 lime yields about a teaspoon of zest, and 2 limes yield about 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
- Changing this recipe for different sized pans: I haven’t had time to test them yet. I’ve heard from readers that a 6-inch wide, 3-inch high cheesecake pan will work…but it might take a little extra cooking.
- Using an 8 Quart pressure cooker? I use this recipe as-is, with my 7-inch cheesecake pan in my 8-quart pressure cooker. It works great. Will it work with a larger pan in the larger cooker? Yes, but it will take more time under pressure, and I haven’t tested it, so I don’t know how long.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
- 7-inch Cheesecake Pan (I like this one from Nordic Ware)
- Pressure Cooker cooking rack. One came with your pressure cooker – check your junk drawer. I bought this silicone steam rack because the easy-to-grab handles mean I don’t need the aluminum foil sling.
- Aluminum foil to make a sling (if you don’t have a rack with handles)
- Citrus juicer (I love this lever-action juicer, and use the “lemon yellow” version for both limes and lemons.)
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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