Eton Mess, that delicious mound of fresh strawberries, crushed meringues and billowing clouds of softly whipped cream has to be the dessert of my dreams in the summer. I live for the strawberry season each year and look forward to finding new ways to celebrate my favourite berry. My latest recipe, Instant Pot Eton Mess Cheesecake combines this sublime summer dessert with simply the best dessert you can make in a pressure cooker – cheesecake! Check out my recipe video before scrolling on to the rest of the post:
As regular readers will know, I share Instant Pot recipes every week and although I am a total pressure cooker convert since getting my first IP a year ago, I have to admit that cheesecakes are my most favourite thing to make in it. I’m definitely a dessert before dinner sort of girl! Have you seen the Instant Pot Cheesecakes I’ve made so far? All cook in 25 minutes or less and the texture is sublime!
An Eton Mess version of my basic Instant Pot cheesecakes was something I had intended to do for ages but it wasn’t until a lovely regular reader called Hina posted a photo of the one she made in my Facebook group that I finally got the recipe together for the blog! What I ended up with is a custard cream base, a thick and creamy, intensely vanillary cheesecake topped with meringue kisses, fresh strawberries and whipped vanilla cream. All served with a fresh strawberry sauce which has a secret ingredient 😉
It’s not really that secret but balsamic vinegar is what I add to my strawberry coulis – it brings out the freshness of the berries and you only need a teeny, tiny amount. I promise in the quantity stated you won’t notice a vinegary after taste, just a special summin’ summin’ about the berries which is hard to describe. Sometimes I simply puree the strawberries with the balsamic and leave it raw if the berries are sweet, juicy and ripe. If they are a little sour, I add a little icing sugar and cook the sauce to thicken it and give it a beautiful jammy flavour so feel free to adapt the recipe as you see fit.
You can make one large meringue or little meringue kisses to top the cheesecake with, or simply buy them so it’s good and easy to do. My meringue recipe is below the cheesecake one as a bonus recipe in this post. I like them to be cooked very low and slow so the exterior is super crisp but the middle still has a hint of marshmallow to it. As my cheesecakes typically have less sugar than the average one out there, I find the meringue makes a wonderful contrast and adds just the right amount of sweetness.
As this cheesecake doesn’t have biscuits up the sides of the tin, you will need to grease it so it doesn’t crack (like mine did in the video!) or simply double up the biscuit base ingredients quantities and press it up the sides of the tin instead. I find when the tin is lined sides and bottom, you don’t ever seem to get any appreciable cracks, as the biscuits contract with the filling as it cools. That’s my top tip for today! But regardless of cracks, this is an Eton Mess Cheesecake – it’s supposed to be piled high with deliciousness, and so no one will ever know it’s less than perfect. Hungry Hubby can’t decide if this is my best IP cheesecake recipe – why don’t you give it a go and let me know the verdict below?!
A rich and delicious vanilla cheesecake cooked in the pressure cooker and topped with whipped vanilla cream, meringue kisses and fresh strawberries. Serve with a fresh strawberry sauce with a secret ingredient to make the berries sing!
- 150 g custard cream biscuits
- 20 g soft butter
- 125 g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla paste)
- 560 g cream cheese
- 150 g double cream
- 1/2 punnet fresh strawberries, washed and hulled (about 100-125g)
- 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp icing sugar (optional and to taste)
- 150 g double cream
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1/2 punnet fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
- About 20 meringue kisses (homemade or store bought)
Line a 7-inch springform pan with a silicone liner or baking parchment. Grease the sides of the tin with flavourless oil (vegetable or rapeseed will do).
Blitz the biscuits and butter in a food processor until no large chunks remain then press into the prepared tin. Wash out the food processor.
Blitz the filling ingredients in the food processor then pour over the biscuit base. Pour 250ml water into the Instant Pot, pop in a trivet and place the cheesecake on top. Tuck a few layers of kitchen roll (or one of the really thick pieces I use from Costco) around the cheesecake to prevent condensation collecting on top.
Put the lid on, set to sealing and Manual High for 25 minutes then do a QPR. When pressure has come down, carefully retrieve the hot cheesecake and then cool on a rack until fully cold. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours to overnight in the fridge.
Wash the strawberries and blitz half the punnet with the balsamic vinegar in a food processor or with a stick blender. Pass through a sieve to remove the seeds then add icing sugar to taste. You may not need any for very ripe berries.
If you like, serve the sauce raw as it is. If you prefer it thicker, transfer to a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes until reduced and thickened. Chill until needed.
Whip the remaining cream with the icing sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Scoop into a small piping bag with a small star shaped nozzle fitted (such as a Wilton 2D or 1M). Hull and halve the remaining strawberries.
Simply top the cheesecake with the meringue kisses, blobs of cream and strawberries. Be as random as you like or create a pattern if you prefer. I think the messier the better! Serve with the sauce on the side.
- Eat within 48 hours and keep in the fridge.
- The cheesecake without its toppings can be frozen whole. Thaw overnight in the fridge then proceed with the toppings as above.
- If you are worried about the cheesecake cracking (like mine annoyingly did in the video!) then double the biscuit base quantities up and press it up the sides of the tin before filling. The biscuits contract with the cheesecake and prevent cracks forming.
- 1 large egg white
- 60 g caster sugar
- Red food colouring gel (optional)
Preheat the oven to 120˚C fan or 150˚C conventional. Line a large baking tray with a silicone liner or baking parchment.
Whisk the egg white until soft peaks form then whisk in the sugar until stiff peaks form and the sugar has dissolved. Rub it between your fingers to check - it should be smooth. This can take 7-10 minutes to happen.
Optional - paint stripes of red food colouring up the insides of a piping bag if you want the meringue kisses to be stripey like little miniature circus tents. If doing this, be generous and use a clean paintbrush which is only used for food purposes.
Scrape the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1-2cm plain, round nozzle. Pipe out little blobs on to the baking tray holding the bag vertically, pulling up sharply to create a point on top after you've piped out a height of 1 inch of meringue. You should get around 25 meringue kisses with this amount.
Cook for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and try not to open it until the oven is cold. It's best to do this before bed so they have the whole night to cool. The kisses should lift easily off the paper but will be bright white and dry to the touch on the outside. Will keep in a cake tin for a couple of weeks.
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