1 cup Speculaas cookies, vanilla wafers (“Nilla”) or graham crumbs
2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 pkg cream cheese, warmed
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla **
3 Tbsp brandy or rum ** (optional - see **Note)
2 large eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
2 tsp powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of nutmeg plus more for garnish
** Note: if you prefer it non-alcoholic version, increase the heavy cream to 1/2 cup, omit the booze and add 1 tsp of flavour extract: brandy, rum or vanilla
Warm the cream cheese: Put the cream cheese (still in its foil or plastic wrapper) in a ziplock bag, but don't seal it. Submerge it into a sink or bowl of hot tap water to force the air out and then seal the bag. Weight it down with a plate and leave it for 15 minutes or more. This makes it MUCH easier to blend the filling.
Make the crust: Spray the cheesecake pan with baking spray. Mix the crust ingredients with a fork and gently press it into the bottom of a 7” cheesecake pan. Don't cram it down or it will be hard to slice and serve. Put it in the freezer while you make the filling.
Make the filling: Beat the warmed cream cheese with the sugar, spices, salt until completely smooth. Add the vanilla, heavy cream and brandy or rum and beat again until smooth. (**Here's where you'd increase the cream and use flavour extract for a non-alcoholic version.)
Add the eggs and yolks and blend just until incorporated. Do NOT over mix once the eggs are in. Over beating once the eggs are added is the main cause of cracking on the surface.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. (Loosely covering the pan with tin foil or a silicone lid is optional. I never do.) Pour 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot. Put the cheesecake on the trivet and lower it into the pot. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is set to Sealing, Press Pressure Cook (or Manual). Use the + or - button to get to 30 minutes for a 7” cheesecake. Other pan sizes and filling amounts here:
PAN SIZE AND COOK TIMES:
6-inch pan --- 33 minutes
7-inch pan --- 30 minutes
8-inch pan --- 27 minutes
Individual ramekins or mason jars --- 12 minutes
For 1 1/2 times the recipe:
7-inch pan --- 35 minutes
8-inch pan --- 33 minutes
For 2 times the recipe:
8-inch pan --- 36 minutes
When it beeps that it's done, leave it for a 15-minute natural release, then flip the valve to Venting for a quick release and when the pin drops, open the pot and remove the cheesecake.
Don't worry if it seems jiggly. It will firm up as it chills. If there is some condensation on the surface, tilt the cheesecake very slightly and gently blot it off with a paper towel. Allow it to cool on the counter for an hour or so. Do NOT remove the outer ring of the pan. Chill for at least 4 hours, overnight is better.
To serve, whip the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and a pinch of nutmeg until soft peaks form. Decorate the chilled cheesecake with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with a tiny bit of nutmeg for a true eggnog touch. Lovely and festive served with a little Speculaas cookie or Vanilla Wafer (Nilla) on the side