[Instant Pot] Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Pumpkin cheesecake is a beloved Thanksgiving tradition in my family. Since I was a little girl, my mom has always slipped a cheesecake layer underneath her annual pumpkin pies… and everyone loves her for it!

The layering is essential, if you ask me. I am not satisfied with the mere pumpkin-flavored cheesecakes of the world, which homogenize together into less than the sum of their parts. This dessert shines from the contrast between rich vanilla cheesecake, and a pure, silky, spiced pumpkin custard layered on top.

If you don’t already know, believe it: Instant Pot is a secret weapon for effortlessly perfect cheesecakes. This fall, let your pressure cooker help you serve up this irresistible seasonal treat!

(Your Instant Pot can also help you make dessert even more special, with your own DIY homemade pumpkin puree… See: Insta-Pumpkin!)

Continue reading “[Instant Pot] Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake”

[Instant Pot] Insta-Pumpkin! DIY Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Puree

I love and respect canned pumpkin as much as the next fall baking enthusiast – but if you have a local source for fresh pie pumpkins to take advantage of, you can’t beat your Instant Pot for the easiest way to prep your own pumpkin from scratch. A pressure cooker can make quick work of dense vegetables like pumpkin – instead of baking in the oven for a whole hour, you can get your squash fully cooked in just 15 minutes under pressure.

I’ve seen a lot of noise online about pumpkin puree, so I must submit my Hot Take on the juicy controversies:

canned pumpkin isn’t really pumpkin!” … let’s settle down with the labels, man! Botany is not so black-and-white. It’s true that the “Dickinson Pumpkins” that the major producers source for their canned goods are a different species than the pumpkins at your grocery store, and that labeling regulations allow “canned pumpkin” products to contain different types of squashes within both of these species – but the reality is that “pumpkin” is just a vague term for, well, pumpkin-like squashes. Like many other common vegetables, “squash” is a broad category that covers several species and seemingly infinite varieties (I’ll refer to my favorite culinary botanist for the full trip down that rabbit-hole: Cucurbita Squash Diversity). 

fresh pumpkin puree is bland and watery and terrible for baking” … Nonsense! Don’t let Big Pumpkin tell you there’s anything you can’t accomplish with fresh ingredients in your own kitchen. It may be true that your favorite brand of canned puree is reliably flavorful/sweet/dense – but in the many articles I’ve seen urging readers to not waste their time cooking fresh pumpkin, all of them end with a comment section full of dissenters who treasure their annual fresh pumpkin pies.

Continue reading “[Instant Pot] Insta-Pumpkin! DIY Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Puree”

[Instant Pot] Pumpkin Spice Steel-Cut Oats

Seattle is getting colder, and predictably, my breakfasts are getting warmer. The days of raw fruit & chilled muesli have come and gone, and now my oats are getting the hot & hearty porridge treatment.

A breakfast like this can help you stay strong through the stresses of the seasonal shift. With the growing season coming to a close and colorful summer crops disappearing from the local food system, pumpkins and other winter squash persevere as a shelf-stable source of vibrantly orange vitamin power. And as the weather chills, spices become magical; we love them, and they love us back with their stimulating, grounding and warming qualities. (Don’t forget: spices are powerful plants that humans have selected, valued, and carried along with us through the history of eating. They interface with our physiology in ways that science is only beginning to understand).

Continue reading “[Instant Pot] Pumpkin Spice Steel-Cut Oats”