Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Amazing food, spending time with the people I love most, and the chance to be a bit peaceful and introspective before the hustle and bustle of the rest of the holiday season. This year, our typically small gathering will be even smaller because three of my loves will be out of town. My husband and oldest son are flying to Hong Kong to spend some time with his parents, and my sister will be out of town for work. I am happy for their adventures, but a little sad to be without them on my favorite day. Despite this, we will still have a wonderful Thanksgiving. My mom put me in charge of desserts, and for some reason I can’t seem to scale back, so we will be having quite the spread. I have baked the usual fare – apple pie (from the incomparable Deb at Smitten Kitchen) and pumpkin pie from the back of the Libby’s® can of pumpkin. I also used my Instant Pot® to make a beautiful pumpkin cheesecake. I love using my Instant Pot® for cheesecakes; creamy dreamy perfection!
I recently made apple sauce in my Instant Pot® and shared the easy recipe. I knew when I made it that I would need to save some of it for this Apple Butter recipe. My family would have gobbled up all of the apple sauce, because it was so tasty, but the apple butter? Heavenly. It’s concentrated apple flavor is brimming with fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice (I used pumpkin pie spice.) The apple butter cooks down slowly and your entire house smells amazing. In this recipe, the apple butter cooks once at high pressure, and then the saute function is used to cook it down to the correct consistency. Patience is key with this recipe. It takes time to make this delicious fall treat.
I recently attempted an upside down cake in theInstant Pot®. Unfortunately, it was too wet, and while it tasted good, the end result was too messy to share. This led me to today’s recipe. I wanted a dessert that would be a nice addition to a Mother’s Day brunch. This blueberry coffee cake is perfect. Not too sweet, a hint of cinnamon, and loaded with juicy blueberries. This cake will not exactly be light and fluffy like an oven baked coffee cake, but it is fun (and delicious) experimenting with cakes in the Instant Pot®.
I am so excited to share this success. I have been attempting some sort of cake-type dessert since I got my Instant Pot® with zero success. With the exception of the occasional rice pudding or cheesecake, I don’t make dessert in my Instant Pot®. I have tried a few things and failed, so I mainly stick with more savory applications. The idea of making a small, easy weeknight cake in the Instant Pot® sounds appealing. Almost everyone in my family has their birthday during the first 6 months of the year, mostly in March and April. We end up eating a lot of cake and it gets a little redundant and excessive. What if I could make each person a small little cake for their actual birthday and we can instead splurge on big cakes for friend and larger family parties. My kids might not agree to this, but I think it is a great idea. This little Lemon Yogurt Cake will be perfect for my almost 3 year old. Now that I have had success, I plan to try a couple of chocolate versions to make my boys happy.
Eggnog is such a controversial subject. People either love it or hate it – I find there is no middle ground with this sweet, creamy, holiday beverage. We are an eggnog family. Every Christmas my mom brings out the vintage cut-glass punch bowl, the spiced rum, and the nutmeg grater, and sets it all up at the bar. Everyone has a glass or two, and then we are finished until next year.
I want to share a fun recipe for your Instant Pot® – Salted Caramel Sauce. Yes, I know you can easily make it on your stove top. Yes, I realize that this might not be the best way to use your Instant Pot®, but it definitely works and was pretty fun to make. We celebrate Christmas at our house, and after indulgent desserts at Thanksgiving, holiday treats at gatherings throughout December, and my Aunt Jane’s famous chocolate mousse on Christmas Eve, we like to go EASY for Christmas dessert. My mom, sister, and I bake delicious cookies every year, and we bake enough for a small army. After sharing with friends and neighbors, we make one last beautiful platter just for us (because we never sample cookies as we go – KIDDING.) We also serve bowls of ice cream with hot fudge and salted caramel sauce to drizzle on top. Nothing fussy or difficult and a lovely way to wrap up the Christmas season.
I have been trying to find a fall-themed dessert that I could make in the Instant Pot®. I came up with several ideas, but I really wanted to be able to make a simple pumpkin pie. I love this recipe for its simplicity and deliciousness. I call this recipe “weeknight pumpkin pie.” While it is certainly tasty enough for Thanksgiving, you are limited by the size of the Instant Pot®. I used my7 in. spring form pan, which makes a dessert that serves 6-8 people. If you host a small Thanksgiving, then this is the perfect dessert. Otherwise, you can make it for an easy, but special weeknight dessert.
I love Mother’s Day. As both a mom and daughter, I love to spend time with both my mom and my children on this special day. We plant some beautiful flowers in the garden together and then enjoy a delicious meal, usually prepared by the moms. I plan to do some cooking in my Instant Pot® today, so I can head over tomorrow, relax, and let the boys do the rest of the work. Here are some ideas for breakfast/brunch, dinner and dessert that you could use to make your Mother’s Day a little more special and delicious. If you are a mom, enjoy your special day (and send your significant other to my blog for some ideas).
A few months ago, I had some pears that just weren’t ripening. I decided I would bake them with some sort of filling, in some sort of quick caramel sauce, and call it dessert. Well, my son loved them and has periodically asked for them ever since. Since he knew we had pears, he asked me again this morning. As a special start-of-spring-break-treat, I decided to make them. I also decided I would use my Instant Pot® pressure cooker, because I have made cheesecake and rice pudding, but not any fruit-based desserts.
This recipe for gluten-free lemon cheesecake is perfect to serve at your Easter, Mother’s Day or other spring brunches. It is sweet, creamy, lemony and is crustless, so you can easily include gluten-free diners, without having to find special ingredients for the crust. The Instant Pot® makes the creamiest, fail-proof cheesecakes. If my waistline would allow, I would make cheesecake in the Instant Pot® all of the time. Since it doesn’t, my next indulgence will be this Lemon Cheesecake at our Easter brunch.