Crush graham crackers to fine crumbs by pulsing in food processor or blender.
Transfer graham cracker crumbs to medium bowl and combine with brown sugar. Add melted butter and syrup and stir until well combined.
Pour crumb mixture into bottom of 7x3" cheesecake pan or springform pan. Shake pan lightly to distribute crumbs across pan, then use spatula or fingers to even them out.
Use the bottom of a glass or mason jar to press crumb mixture firmly and evenly down until you have a consistently even layer of crust. Then place in freezer while you make your batter.
(For best results, all ingredients should be room temperature before beginning.)In a large mixing bowl... Using a hand or stand mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar on low speed until light and fluffy.
Add remaining ingredients and continue beating until well combined and smooth, scraping sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula as you mix.
Remove crust from freezer and pour batter into pan.
Place 3" trivet into 6-qt or larger pressure cooker and add 1 ½ cups water.
Cover pan in foil and carefully place into pressure cooker on top of trivet. Cook at high pressure for 33 minutes, then allow a natural pressure release (will take from 20-30 minutes).
Remove lid and carefully transfer cheesecake to cooling rack. Remove foil, and gently use the corner of a paper towel to dry any water that may have gathered around the edges of cheesecake. (This can leave marks on the cheesecake if not done carefully, and is an optional step.)
Allow cheesecake to cool for one hour. Once cool, carefully run a paring knife around the edge of the cheesecake to separate from pan. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Carefully push cheesecake up from push pan by placing center of push pan on a can or glass and pushing edges down. If using springform pan, gently remove outer edge of pan.
Prepare glaze after cheesecake has been refrigerated for minimum of six hours and is ready to be served. Add heavy cream and maple syrup to empty and clean pressure cooker.
Using sauté setting... Set a timer for five minutes. The cream and syrup will begin to boil and bubble. Stir often. The color will start to change to a light caramel color, and it will thicken slightly.
After five minutes, immediately remove pot from pressure cooker and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled to room temperature, pour desired amount of glaze over top of prepared cheesecake. Cheesecake can be refrigerated with the glaze, or served immediately.
While the maple glaze is optional, it adds a unique and delicious richness to the cheesecake. When cooking, if the maple glaze doesn’t thicken within five minutes, put it back on sauté and heat for a minute or two longer. It should be a nice caramel color, as pictured in the process shots above, when it’s ready to be removed from the heat.
If you plan to skip the maple glaze, you'll want a smooth, blemish free cheesecake. After pouring the cheesecake batter into the pan, gently tap the pan against the counter to encourage air bubbles to rise to the top. Then, carefully burst the air bubbles with a toothpick or the tine of a fork.
When slicing a cheesecake, I recommend using a hot knife. This prevents the cheesecake from sticking to the knife, and leaves cleaner slices. However, the glaze on this cheesecake often drizzles over the sides after cutting, so this step is optional. If desired, heat your knife by dipping it into a glass of hot water, then dry and slice.
What size Instant Pot can I use? Both a 6-quart or 8-quart cooker should work just fine, but we have not tested this recipe with the mini.What kind/size pan will I need? Any 7-inch springform pan or cheesecake pan should work for you.Why isn't my glaze thickening? You probably just need cook it a little longer. It will take approximately 5 minutes once it begins to boil. If it has not thickened by then, continue to cook on sauté for a a minute or two until it is a light caramel color and just beginning to thicken.Why won't my glaze spread? You may have overcooked it. It will be a light caramel color when finished. Continuing to cook past that point will turn it into sticky caramel.