I usually don’t think of using my slow cooker for making dessert, but this recipe interested me because it removes the need to mess with a water bath in one’s oven, which has always been one of the things I don’t like about making a cheesecake. Plus, the resulting cheesecake promised to be “unbelievably silky” from the steam created in the slow cooker, and that definitely delivered.
I must confess, though, that in my haste, I didn’t take extra care in unmolding the cake from the springform pan, and so the edges of each slice have dents of missing cake or crust in them, and parts of the bottom of each slice was difficult to keep whole and not keep from sticking to the base of the springform pan.
Overall, I liked it, but maybe putting a piece of foil under the pan and extending it upwards while keeping it from going over the top to allow the steam to cook would’ve been good to keep the crust more crisp while cooking, I think.
Slow-cooker Cheesecake (modified from Food and Wine contributor Beth Hensperger’s recipe)
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and a pinch of salt and nutmeg. Press the crumbs over the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 6-inch springform pan that’s 3 inches deep.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the cream cheese with the flour, the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Beat at medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs and the almond extract. Beat at medium speed until blended. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Pour the batter into the springform pan.
Fill a 6- to 7-quart round or oval slow cooker with 1/2 inch of water and position a rack in the bottom. Set the cheesecake on the rack. Cover the slow cooker with a triple layer of paper towels and the lid. Turn the cooker to high and cook for 2 hours without peeking. Turn off the heat and let stand until the slow cooker has cooled, 1 hour.
Remove the lid and the paper towels and transfer the cheesecake to a rack to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.
Heat a sharp, thin-bladed knife under hot water; dry the knife. Carefully run the knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Release the spring and lift the cheesecake out of the mold. Cut into wedges. Serve plain, or with your favorite topping–caramel, raspberry coulis, fresh fruit, etc. I used a raspberry coulis.
fresh or frozen raspberries
three tablespoons sugar, or to taste
pinch of salt
tablespoon of lemon juice
method: Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and strain with a sieve to remove the seeds. Let cool.