How do I stop my cheesecake from cracking?
A cheesecake top without a crack seems to be the ultimate measure of success. It shouldn’t be. A crack doesn’t affect the taste. Many cheesecakes are topped and the topping covers any cracks. There may be a number of reasons for cracks:
- Too much air incorporated into the filling may cause cracks. You should always beat your eggs before stirring them into the cheesecake filling. Air is the enemy.
- Baking too long will over bake the filling and is a common cause of cracks. Follow the recipe’s instructions on baking — do not bake longer than the recommended time.
- Uneven baking may be a cause. Light colored pans won’t bake evenly. Consider using heavy gauge, dark pans.
- Too much heat may cause cracking. Bake low and slow. The highest temperature recommended for baking cheesecakes is 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If your cheesecake cools too rapidly, it may develop cracks. At the very least, cool (rest) on top of the stove. Don’t let your cheesecake cool in a draft, such as an open window.
- Consider adding cornstarch or flour to the mixture before baking. Cheesecakes with starch in the filling are less prone to cracking.
What’s the best way to cut a cheesecake?
Use the right knife, a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Don’t use a serrated knife as filling and crumbs tend to stick to the edges. Cut with downward pressure, dragging the knife as little as possible. After each cut, wash and dry the knife so that you have a clean blade slicing through the cheesecake. It also helps to “heat” the blade under hot, running water before each cut. Be sure to wipe the water off before cutting!
What’s the easiest way to make crumbs for my crust?
The easiest way to get those cookies or crackers turned into crumbs is with either a blender or a food processor. If you don’t have either of those, you can use a zip bag and rolling pin to crush the cookies/crackers. Lots of folks use a food processor; we don’t bother. I suppose you could buy the cookies already “crumbed” from the store. Cheater 🙂
Is there an easy way to form the crust?
Yes. Use a straight-sided glass with a smooth or nearly smooth base. By pressing the base of the glass into the crumbs, you can make a nice uniform bottom crust. By pressing the side of the glass against the wall of the pan with a slight rolling action, you can make a wonderful side crust.
The slices seem to stick to the base and it’s hard to remove them. Is there an easy way to neatly remove the slices?
Take a wet dish towel and heat it in the microwave. Set the base with the cheesecake on the hot towel. The hot towel will soften the butter in the crust and allow the slices to slide off without sticking. It helps to have a spring form pan with a smooth base. If the base is not smooth, cover with parchment paper prior to putting the crust onto it.
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Happy “cheesecaking” everyone!
Save the world! It’s the only one with cheesecake!