I use my food processor to make... and my pressure cooker to "bake"... this super-yummy dessert!
Pressure cooker (6 qts or larger)
rack (1" - 3" rise); Stainless Steel Wire Steamer Rack Food Steaming Stand ">my choice
7" springform pan; Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan, 7 Inch ">my choice
6 graham crackers
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
4 Tbs. melted butter
1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
1 1/2 C confectioners sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature (do not use reduced fat varieties)
2 eggs at room temperature
4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 C water
1) Let the cream cheese and the eggs come to room temperature; don't skip this step.
2) Zest the lemon (yellow rind only) into a small bowl. Place the lemon into the microwave for 15 seconds and then roll it between your palm and a cutting board to break down the pulp. Cut in half and squeeze the fresh juice (4 Tablespoons) into the bowl with the zest; remove any seeds.
Make the crust by placing the graham crackers and sugar into your food processor and precess until smooth. Melt the butter in a small dish in the microwave and then add the almond extract to it. Turn processor on low and slowly add the butter mixture; process until well all of the crumbs are moistened.
Remove the blades and pour the crumbs into the bottom of a 7" no-leak springform pan. Start at the center and press the crumbs evenly across the bottom and up the sides about 1". Set aside. Wash and dry the processor bowl and blades.
Make the filling by placing the confectioners sugar and cornstarch into the processor bowl. Attach the lid and process on slow about 30 seconds or until the sugar is smooth and free of clumps. Remove the lid.
Cut the cream cheese blocks in half and place around the blades, on top of the sugar; space as evenly as possible. Attach lid. Pulse the processor until the cheese is partially blended into the sugar; stop and scrape down the sides as needed. Turn on low and drop the eggs, one at a time, into the mixture blending about 30 seconds in between and after the eggs to ensure they are well blended.
Remove the lid and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom making sure all of the cheese incorporated. Reattach the lid, turn the processor back to low and add in the lemon zest and juice. Blend just until combined.
Remove the lid and the processor bowl from the base... but leave the blades in so the batter doesn't leak through the middle! Pour the batter into the pan over the crust.
Plug in your pressure cooker, set the cook time for 30 minutes** and press start. Pour 1 1/2 cups into the cooker and center the rack inside. Place the pan on top of the rack, close the lid and set the pressure valve to airtight or closed.
When the cooking time has elapsed, turn the cooker off and let the cake remain inside for 10 minutes or until no pressure remains. Carefully open the lid and remove the cake to a rack. Gently blot the top with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Let rest 15 minutes before covering loosely with a clean cheesecloth or lint-free dish towel. Serve warm within the next 20 minutes, at room temperature in about 45 minutes or place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
To serve, gently run a thin knife around the edge of the cake before unlatching and removing the springform sides of the pan. Top with cherry or blueberry pie filling (if desired), slice and serve. Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
This cake may also be wrapped tightly (once chilled) and frozen for up to 6 months.
**NOTE: Please read the page regarding cooking times for cheesecakes.