This velvety cheesecake is made with toasted coconut in the crust plus a shaggy garnish of shredded coconut on the top. As with the classic cheesecake recipe, make sure your cream cheese is very soft before beating it. If your kitchen is cold, consider microwaving the cream cheese (removed from its foil package) for a few seconds. Cold cream cheese is much harder to beat until smooth.
For the crust
For the filling
Note: To toast the coconut, place it in a small skillet, set it over medium heat, and toast, stirring, until it turns golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the coconut to a plate to let it cool before using.
Dinner in an Instant
by Melissa Clark
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, toasted coconut, coconut butter, coconut sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Pat the mixture into a 7-inch springform pan, patting it all over the bottom and 1/2 to 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the crust has set and is golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool.
3. Make the filling: Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until the mixture is very smooth (this could take several minutes if your cream cheese is not soft). Then add the coconut cream, beating again until incorporated. Add the rum and salt, and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are incorporated and smooth. On medium-low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Pour the filling into the prepared shell and cover the top of the springform pan with aluminum foil.
4. Fill the pressure cooker with 1/2 inch of water. You can either place a steamer rack in the pot and then lower the cake pan onto the rack using a homemade sling (see note below) or, if you have a rack with an attached handle, simply lower the rack and pan together. Cover and cook on high pressure for 32 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 8 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually. Lift the pan out of the pressure cooker and transfer it to a wire rack. Remove the foil. Note that the center of the cheesecake will still be wobbly; it will set further as it cools. Top the warm cheesecake with the shredded coconut and let it cool completely.
5. Cover the cooled cake with plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight to firm up. When you are ready to serve it, release the springform sides and place the cheesecake on a platter.
Note: If your steamer rack does not have handles, it’s easy to build a sling that will help you lift soufflé dishes and cake pans out of the cooker. To make one, fold a long (about 16 inches) piece of aluminum foil into thirds so that it can sit under the dish or pan and extend up the sides of the pressure cooker pot (as handles). This will help you lift and lower the dish or pan from the cooker. Be sure to leave the sling in the machine while cooking so you can use it to lift the dish out afterward. Note that it will be hot after cooking, so use oven mitts.
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Reprinted from Dinner in an Instant. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Melissa Clark is a food writer and author. She is a food columnist for The New York Times, and has written for Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart. She is the author of Dinner in an Instant, Cook This Now, In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite and 32 other cookbooks.