If you’re like me you are already thinking about Valentine’s Day. I know it’s a little bit of a Hallmark induced holiday, but it’s still fun to celebrate with your loved one. I prefer to stay home and put a simple menu together that doesn’t take much time, but tastes like a million bucks.
Cheesecake is always a nice treat to have on fun occasions whether it be Valentine’s Day or a birthday. I have made hundreds of cheesecakes in my life and I think my mom has probably made a thousand or so – it is definitely the most requested dessert in our family.
Strawberry Cheesecake is so festive and not any more difficult to put together than a classic cheesecake, and if you have an Instant Pot, it makes it even easier. Usually a standard cheesecake has a graham cracker crust, which you pulse up in a food processor and bake in the oven. Then, using the same food processor, mix together the filling, or use a bowl and hand mixer. Pop the cheesecake into the Instant Pot and within 30 minutes, it’s done!
Cheesecake does require a few hours to cool down and set up in the refrigerator, so if you make it mid-day it’s ready after dinner. I think this Instant Pot Strawberry Cheesecake with its mildly fruity flavor and creamy texture will be a real hit with anyone, but especially that special someone. It’s also nice with a glass of champagne.
1 package graham crackers, about 12
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
pinch of salt
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) strawberries + more for top
2 drops red food coloring, optional
(Makes 6-inch Cheesecake)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, add all the crust ingredients and pulse until fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into a 6-inch springform pan and press into bottom. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove and let cool.
2. Pour washed strawberries into a strainer placed over a bowl. Using a spoon, press juices through strainer. Mix strawberries around and keep pressing, until you extract all the juice from berries.
3. In a food processor, add cream cheese, sugar, eggs, cream, flour and vanilla. Puree for 1 minute, scrape down sides and puree again for 30 seconds. Add strawberry juice and red food coloring and puree for 30 seconds.
4. Pour into baked crust and gently tap on counter to remove any air bubbles. Put 2 cups of water in the bottom of Instant Pot and insert rack. Place cheesecake on top of rack and seal with lid. Press Manual for 30 minutes high pressure. When cooking is complete let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then move value to venting and release manually. Remove cheesecake and let rest on counter for 1 hour before refrigerating. Chill for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving. Enjoy!