This decadently creamy ginger-crusted cranberry orange cheesecake is a snap to prepare in the Instant Pot™. Best of all, it’s an easy, elegant dessert to grace your holiday table without overheating your kitchen!
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, where Christmas takes place at the height of summer, perhaps you struggle with holiday baking. I know I do.
I want to give my family all of the sweet treats they associate with Christmas. Nonetheless, I resist turning on the oven and spending long hours with trays of hot cookies in the summer heat.
The beauty of preparing ginger-crusted cranberry orange cheesecake in the Instant Pot™, is that the heat stays in the appliance. So, your family enjoys a rich, holiday treat, and you stay cool while preparing it. For me, that’s a win-win!
About this Recipe
Cheesecake is easy to make. However, there are a few critical steps to success.
- Temperature. Ensure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature before you begin. Cold ingredients will yield a lumpy cheesecake.
- Whipping. Whip your ingredients thoroughly as the lightness of your cheesecake is dependant on the volumes of air incorporated as you whip the batter. Thus, I strongly recommend you adhere to the recommended mixing times as you add ingredients.
- Crust. To keep your crust nice and crunchy, you must ensure that the level of the crust remains below the filling. This step keeps the crust from being exposed to steam as your cheesecake cooks.
Lining the Springform Pan
While lining the springform pan with parchment (baking paper) is not an absolute requirement, I highly recommend it. You will have a much easier time removing the ginger-crusted cranberry orange cheesecake from the springform pan if you line it carefully in advance.
I generally like to use a round liner for the base of the springform and a collar around the edges. The collar serves two purposes:
- It keeps the cake from sticking to the sides of the springform; and
- It allows you to tent the foil over it without touching the cheesecake batter.
This recipe uses a simple crumb crust. If you do not own a food processor, you can easily crush the cookies by putting them in a ziplock bag and using a rolling pin. However, it is important to ensure you have a very fine crumb.
When your crust mixture is ready, you will press it firmly and evenly across the bottom of the springform pan. If you like your crust to run up the sides of your cheesecake, you may press the crust up the sides. However, you must ensure you keep the level of crust below the level your filling. Otherwise, it will get soggy as it cooks.
In the recipe, I have not recommended blind baking the crust. This is because, it’s summer and, personally, I prefer to avoid heating the oven, if at all possible. When prepared according to the recipe, your crust will be softer, like a restaurant-style cheesecake crust.
If, however, texture is important to you, you may prefer a crunchy cookie style foundation for your cheesecake. In this case, I recommend blind baking the crust in the centre of a 160° C (325° F) oven for 10 minutes. Set the springform on a baking rack until cool. Then, proceed according to the recipe instructions.
Removing the Cake from the Instant Pot™
When preparing cheesecake in the Instant Pot™, it is important to elevate your cake above the level of the water in the bottom of the pot. Thus, you will want to use the stainless steel trivet that came with the pot. Mine has handles, which make it easy to lift the cheesecake out of the pot at the end of the cooking time.
If your trivet doesn’t have handles, you will want to make a sling out of aluminium foil. Simply fold a 50 cm piece of aluminium foil into three and slide it under your springform pan. Then, fold the two long sides loosely over the cheesecake before sealing the Instant Pot™. At the end of the cooking time, you can use the long pieces to gently lift the springform pan out of the pot.
Instant Pot™ Ginger-Crusted Cranberry Orange Cheesecake
This decadently creamy ginger-crusted cranberry orange cheesecake is a snap to prepare in the Instant Pot™. Best of all, it's an easy, elegant dessert to grace your holiday table without overheating your kitchen!
- For the crust
- 1 1/4 cup ginger biscuit (ginger snap) crumbs
- 50 g butter, melted (1.8 oz, about 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the cheesecake
- 450 g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- For the cranberry orange topping
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Step 1 Line your springform pan with parchment and spray the parchment thoroughly with cooking spray.
- Step 2 Place crushed ginger biscuits, melted butter, orange zest, and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork until thoroughly combined. Press the crust into the bottom and about 1.5 cm up the sides of a 20 cm (8 inch) springform pan.
- Step 3 Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer on to medium-low and leave to run for about 4 minutes, or until the cream cheese has become light and creamy. Add the sugar and salt to the cheese and continue mixing for an additional 4 minutes.
- Step 4 Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add one egg to the centre of the bowl. Whisk on medium low for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once again and add the second egg to the centre of the bowl. Mix for an additional minute. Add the sour cream and mix until it is fully incorporated (about 30 seconds more).
- Step 5 Pour the batter into the lined springform pan. Tent loosely with foil.
- Step 6 Pour 1 1/2 cups water into the base of the Instant Pot™. Insert the metal trivet into the pot, ensuring the handles are up for easy lifting of your cheesecake at the end of the cooking time. Gently lower the tented springform pan onto the trivet and lock the Instant Pot™ lid in place, ensuring that the pressure release handle is set to “sealing”.
- Step 7 Press the [Pressure Cook] button and set the timer to 40 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 18 minutes. Then, manually release the remaining pressure and remove the lid. Gently remove the cake from the Instant Pot™. Check for doneness. The edges should be fully set, while the centre will remain a little loose. Move the cheesecake to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 and up to 24 hours.
- Step 8 Meanwhile, place the dried cranberries in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave the cranberries to plump up for about 30 minutes.
- Step 9 Once the cranberries are plump, transfer them, along with their soaking liquid, to a medium saucepan. Add the juice, orange zest, and sugar to the pan and place over medium heat. Allow the cranberries to come to a boil, and continue cooking until the sauce lightly coats a spoon. Then, turn off the heat and set the pan aside. The syrup will thicken further as it cools.
- Step 10 At serving time, un-mold the cheesecake onto the serving platter and distribute the cranberries and syrup over the top.