Baking in a Pressure Cooker

Mamina's pressure cooker
For me, one of the most challenging things about cooking for my family every day is coming up with ideas of what to cook. My mother had the same struggle, "No se que hacer hoy", she would say. However, she was aware that this was a good problem because she had many choices, as opposed to when we were in Cuba and the challenge was to find something to feed the family, because even the most basic ingredients were scarce.  

On the flip side, she would get very excited when she had a new recipe or the grandkids wanted her to cook something special. 


I'm finding that blogging contains a similar challenge. I wonder which recipe to post when and just like with cooking dinner I love requests! 


So I am excited to respond to this email I received a few days ago from Tamara:



I was reading your recipe for puding de pan and I would love the directions for the pressure cooker method. My grandma used to do it like this but no one in my family ever learned before she passed away.  I would appreciate it tremendously. Thank you!
My mother, like many Cubans, cooked almost everything in her pressure cooker. I imagine this practice began in Cuba because ovens create a lot of heat, and who wants to heat up the house when you live in a tropical island. Using a pressure cooker also shortens the cooking time trememdously, and who wants to be cooking all day when you live in a tropical paradise... This practice also served well after Castro reduced the island to poverty and there was no gas for the stoves or ovens. 
My mother went through several pressure cookers in her life, they were all similar, not very fancy or expensive. When I decided to buy one, I researched them all and bought one I thought was much better than my mother's. It certainly was more expensive. But it leaks, and it doesn't build up pressure properly or cook evenly. Very annoying. I use Mamina's now... If you would like to do some research on pressure cookers, here is a great place to begin: 
 Top 5 Pressure Cookers for Quick and Easy Meals”


So this is how you bake in a pressure cooker:



Put the round metal rack (Isis says it's called a trivet) on the 

bottom of the pressure cooker. 




Pour the blended ingredients for Pudin de Pan, Cake, Flan (recipe still to come), etc. into any kind of oven proof metal mold that will fit into the pressure cooker. 

Here is a store bought one with a nice lid and clamps that keep the lid in place




My father usually made these molds for my mother. He used a #10 can, like the one in the picture, cut it in half and turned down the sharp cut edge so it was smooth and safe to touch. He liked to make all kinds of things and Mamina seemed to prefer to use his home made molds to the store bought ones.  

My sisters and I didn't appreciate his efforts, when it came to these metal molds, so we threw them away when we cleaned out her kitchen. 







The pressure cooker instruction booklet will tell you to cover the mold securely with aluminum foil, like this











Mamina would cover hers with wax paper and tie it with a string. I was called many times to put a finger on the string so she could knot it securely. I didn't have string this time, so I used a shoe lace. 



Then she would trim the wax paper. Yup, she really did. I asked her why a couple of times, but she changed the subject and did not answer. I think she just liked things to be neat. 



     

Pour a cup of water in the pressure cooker and set the mold on the trivet. By the way, my cousin MaConcha, who is a terrific cook, does not even cover her mold, so don't worry too much that it has to be perfectly sealed. 



Put the lid on your pressure cooker securely and heat on high until steam scapes from the little chimney (or vent pipe), then put the little pressure regulator on it. Or put the pressure regulator on from the beginning. 



I was hoping you could see the steam in the picture...

If you are using a canning pressure cooker, one of those that has a pressure gage, bring to 15 lbs of pressure. Otherwise wait till the pressure regulator is rocking to start counting the time. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Let the pressure cooker cool and all the pressure dissipate before you take the lid or even the pressure regulator off. 

Or you can cook it for 20 minutes, and cool it under running water immediately and completely (you will hear the pressure escape).




Then you can take the lid off. It's going to be very hot, so be careful taking the mold out of the pressure cooker.  Chill before you take the Pudin or Flan out of the mold. Let it cool it if it's a cake. 

Thank you for this request, Tamara! 


Here are some yummy desserts that were made in the pressure cooker


Pudin de Pan

Pudin de Pan



Cake de Naranja
Flan 

















4 Response to Baking in a Pressure Cooker

October 24, 2013 at 12:07 AM

Hello, I am Looking a Hard Anodized Pressure Cooker please suggest me something which hard anodize pressure cooker is best for daily routine life and please also suggest me the size of that cooker. It would be great help thanks.

November 6, 2013 at 1:50 PM

I like stainless steel, 6 quart size. There are many choices out there and more expensive is not necessarily better.

December 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Have you ever tried to make a flourless torte in your pressure cooker? I've been curious if that would produce a better torte that would cook more evenly.

December 19, 2013 at 2:32 PM

I have not tried that, but I think that is great question. Let me know if you try it and I will let you know when I give it a try.

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