I can lament rhapsodically with the best of them but you simply have to believe me – this cheesecake must be the best thing I have ever eaten. I’d love to tell you the best thing I’ve ever eaten was kale chips, baked with a daub of coconut oil and a soupçon of self-righteousness but I’m afraid it isn’t. This Instant Pot Custard Cream Cheesecake is worth every single excessive calorie, every single extra agonising burpee my personal trainer will add on to my work out when he sees this post…
I must admit, when I first heard of Instant Pot, it was the suggestion that making cheesecakes in it might not only be easier but better than baking them in the oven, water bath or not, that lured me in. Yes, it does make midweek meals extremely easy, fast and hands-free but I think it really comes into its own when it comes to making cheesecake.
And it cooks in a mere 25 minutes! 25 minutes – can you believe it? I do believe I will be needing to spend extra hours down the gym, praying for death on the rowing machine now I know just how fast you can whip up a cheesecake!
If you are British, you will most likely be afflicted with the most over-powering feelings of nostalgia when presented with a biscuit or two when it’s time for tea. Bourbon biscuits are my all-time favourite but custard creams have a special place in my heart as I recall my first memories were of them at break time when I was in the reception class at school.
We would each get a custard cream with a jelly sweet for our break time snack (is that modern day yummy mummies shrieking in horror I can hear in the background?!) and it was something I really looked forward to every day. Sweet and vanillary with a buttery fluffy filling, these sandwich biscuits that are over a century old now are a comforting treat like no other. They really do taste like custard powder (rather than a more chic creme anglaise sort of custard made with eggs) and when you know that the flavouring added is actually a little almond extract, you’ll know why I add just a few drops to the filling to bring that childhood taste memory back to the fore.
Now I have just one last piece of nostalgia to weave into this tale. When Hungry Hubby and I first tasted this Custard Cream Cheesecake, we both uttered some indecent groans of pleasure and then almost instantaneously and simultaneously recalled The One With All The Cheesecakes from Friends. It’s the curse of growing up in the nineties that you can’t go a day without quoting at least one scene from Friends I’m afraid.
In this one, Rachel and Chandler find and eat a neighbour’s cheesecake delivered to them by accident, from a fictitious bakery called Momma’s Little Bakery and they simply can’t stop themselves, it is that good. Both me and Hungry Hubby uttered “OMG it’s so creamy” and “that is the best cheesecake I’ve ever had!” whilst eating it and I do believe, if that bakehouse was real, my Custard Cream Cheesecake would be the one that found it’s way unwittingly into Rachel and Chandler’s lives! Here’s a selection of clips from that brilliant episode for you to enjoy before you head on to the recipe!
- 300 g custard cream biscuits
- 40 g melted butter
- 560 g full fat cream cheese
- 100 g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp Bird's custard powder shop's own will also do
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Few drops almond extract
- 125 g double cream
- Approx 60ml double cream
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- 3 extra custard cream biscuits
Start by blitzing the biscuits in a food processor to a fine crumb, then with the motor still running, pour in the melted butter, pulsing to mix.
Tip into a 7 inch diameter spring form cake tin (I like to line mine with my reusable silicone liners) and press into the base and up the sides to give as even a layer as you can.
Clean out the food processor and then blitz all the filling ingredients together - pour into the tin on top of the base slowly and gently. It should find it's own level.
Now pour 250ml of water into the Instant Pot and place the trivet on top with the arms folded down.
Take a long piece of foil and fold lengthways to make a sling long enough to allow you to lower the cheesecake on to the trivet and retrieve when cooked. Do this now. Then take 4 or 5 pieces of kitchen roll and tuck them over the cheesecake, trying to tent them around the tin to give room for them to drop as they absorb moisture before folding the foil very gently over enough to allow you to put the lid on.
When closed, ensure the vent is set to "sealing" and select Manual, adjusting time to 25 minutes.
Leave for 10 minutes after cooking time finished to give you a Natural Pressure Release then remove the lid, discard the now wet kitchen roll and using the foil sling, carefully remove the cheesecake. It should have a hint of a wibble wobble in the middle still.
Cool on a rack and when at room temp, chill for a minimum of 4 hours if not over night in the fridge.
When ready to serve, unmould the tin and transfer to a serving plate (cheesecakes in the IP are smaller and the bases more sturdy so this is easier than by traditional methods) before whisking the extra cream to soft peaks with the icing sugar and piping rosettes on top of the cake. Cut the remaining biscuits in half and place one on each rosette, if liked. Eat with deep pleasure in your heart!
Will keep for up to 2 days but freezes beautifully - slice and wrap in foil before freezing and defrost in the fridge, not at room temperature.
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