Air Fryer Cheesecake
Cheesecake has a reputation for taking a lot of work to whip up. Traditionally, you have to make a custard, bake the cake in a water bath and use a springform pan, which isn’t the most common kitchen accoutrement.
On their own, these small annoyances can be enough to relegate cheesecake to the “only when eating out” category. But with your trusty air fryer on the scene, the calculus changes. Making a cheesecake is easy, and the results are just as delicious.
In the air fryer, cheesecake bakes up faster than it does in the oven, and you don’t need a water bath because the air is always circulating — the cheesecake bakes evenly without that precarious pan of boiling water. Because the whole thing bakes in a regular 8-inch cake pan, you don’t need a specialty springform pan either. The result is a little smaller than other cheesecakes, but that means it cools faster. So even though you come out with a little less cake, you can enjoy it all the sooner.
For this version, we use sweetened condensed milk, which eliminates the need to make a custard but doesn’t sacrifice flavor or texture. The strawberries are tossed with honey, which brings out their floral notes and complements the light, sweet and tangy cake. The graham cracker crust is so buttery and delicious, you could practically eat it as a standalone snack. The crust and cheesecake together is unforgettable.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes (plus 3 hours cooling time)
For the cheesecake:
1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 L&B Large Organic Brown Eggs
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest from ½ lemon
For the macerated strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Zest from ½ lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons L&B Pure Honey
- Coat an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with one sheet of parchment paper, pressing the pleats flush against the sides of the pan. Cut off any excess parchment paper, then coat the remaining parchment in cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar and 2 pinches of salt. Stir with a fork until well combined.
- Transfer the graham cracker crumbs to the prepared cake pan and press them into the bottom to form a level crust.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Beat on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until combined and completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour the cream cheese filling over the crust and spread it evenly.
- Heat the air fryer to 300 F.
- Transfer the cake to the air fryer and fry for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top skin is set and the cake jiggles slightly.
- Let the cheesecake cool for 1 hour, then transfer it to the refrigerator to chill completely, 2 hours or up to overnight.
- To make the macerated strawberries: 30 minutes before serving the cheesecake, in a small bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Toss until evenly coated and let sit at room temperature.
- When ready to serve, unmold the cheesecake and discard the parchment paper. Slice the cake with a warm knife, wiping the knife clean between cuts.
- Drizzle the honey over the strawberries and toss to combine. Spoon the macerated strawberries over the cheesecake and serve.
Recipe adapted from: NYT Cooking