I guess you could say that making a cheesecake is a labor of love. But why settle with ordinary cheesecake when you can have one with a hidden surprise? So I give to you … Hidden Caramel Pecan Cheesecake with Layered Caramel!!
When I first learned about cheesecake in the Instant Pot pressure cooker I knew I wanted to try it. I was skeptical, and frankly a bit hesitant. All the reviews and recipes I read about said it was practically fool proof. So with that in mind I made two versions for Mother’s Day. I shared with my family who raved and sang praise after praise. They even told me I should enter it into a contest. But this version was gone before you could even say “Seconds.”
What’s the big surprise you might ask? Well you add a nice thick pool of decadent caramel to the layer between the crust and the cheesecake. The crust has a beautiful nutty flavor because, get this… you make it with chopped pecans and graham crackers. The beauty of this cheesecake is that it’s not overly sweet, and you still get the lush creaminess of the cheesecake topped with delightful bits of roasted pecans and caramel.
Some important tips I learned!!!
- Use a separate sealing ring for cooking sweets vs. savory dishes. (Unfortunately, the crust on my first cheesecake had a slight hint of Black Bean Soup) Not so appealing. You might try using two silicone sealing rings… like these ones.
- Order the right pan. If you are serious about your Cheesecake… you should look into getting one of these pans. (Fat Daddio’s Aluminum Round Cake Pan, 7- Inch x 3- Inch)
- Set your Cream Cheese and Eggs out way before you plan on making your cheesecake. (You will get a much creamier and smoother cheesecake, as a result)
- Using a pressure cooker for Cheesecake during the summer months is the way to go!! It doesn’t heat up your house. (For other ideas on how to avoid using the oven check out a recent SMB post dedicated to this topic)
Let’s get to it!!
6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my 6 quart Instant Pot)
7-inch x 3-inch cheesecake pan, to fit my Instant Pot 6 quart (I prefer the Fat Daddio)
Rack for pressure cooker
Silicone Sealing Ring (I use one for Savory and one for Sweet)
- ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (4 whole graham crackers, crushed)
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- 2 Tbs melted butter
- 2 (8oz packages of cream cheese)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ cup caramel sauce
- 1/3 cup Pecans
- 2 tsp butter
- caramel sauce for drizzling
- 1. Pull out cold ingredients: Gather all your ingredients and let them sit out until they are room temperature. Most importantly: Eggs, cream cheese (Leave them out for at least 1 hour!)
- 2. Prep the pan: Grease your cheesecake pan and then place a parchment round into the bottom of the pan. If you don't have a parchment round, use the pan to cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of the pan. Once parchment has been placed grease the top of the parchment as well.
- 3. Crust: Add graham crackers to the bowl of the food processor and pulse a couple of times, until small crumbs from. Place crumbs in separate bowl. Add pecans to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Pulse until just combined.
- - Pour cookie mixture into bottom of greased pan and press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan and no more than one inch up along the sides.
- - Pour ½ cup caramel sauce over the crust, Place pan with crust into freezer for 20 minutes while mixing the filling.
- 4. Make the cheesecake filling: 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. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed until just blended. Stir in the vanilla and sour cream by hand. Pour into the cheesecake pan, then tap the pan on the countertop for about 30 seconds to get rid of air bubbles. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and crimp around the edge to seal.
- 5. Pressure cook the cheesecake: Put 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker pot and add the cooking rack. If your pressure cooker rack doesn’t have handles, make an aluminum foil sling by folding a 2-foot long piece of aluminum foil over a few times, until it is a long strip about 4 inches wide. Use the sling to lower the cheesecake pan into the pot and set it on the rack. Lock the pressure cooker and pressure cook on high for 35 minutes in an electric pressure cooker, then let the pressure come down naturally, about 10 more minutes.
- 6. Cool the cheesecake, then serve: Lift the cheesecake out of the pressure cooker. Immediately run a knife around the rim of the cheesecake pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Cool the pan at room temperature for an hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- 7. Prep The Topping: In a pan melt butter over medium heat. Add whole pecans and cook until lightly roasted and fragrant. Remove from pan and let cool. Once cheesecake is cooled, top cheesecake with roasted pecans and caramel drizzle.