Having made more cheesecakes than I can count, I may be of some help as mine no longer crack on top, and are creamy, dreamy smooth. I make a New York style cheesecake with the following recipe:
For the crust:
1 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
6 tbs. Butter
2 tbs. Sugar
For the Filling:
2 lbs. Cream cheese (4 eight ounce packs)
¾ cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 tbs. Cornstarch
1 cup Sour Cream
Preheat the oven to 450’ F.
Combine the crust ingredients and press into the sides and bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Place the crust into your freezer for 15 minutes.
Soften the cream cheese in your microwave (Don’t overdo it; the cream cheese must be warm, not hot.) and place into a large bowl. Cream in the sugar until everything is smooth. Beat in the remaining ingredients until all is well blended, smooth and creamy.
Remove the crust from the freezer and pour in the filling. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 200’ F. And bake for an additional 35 minutes. Turn off the heat and crack the oven door. Gently jiggle the pan, The cheesecake filling should move slightly, like gelatin in a bowl. Let the cheesecake cool with the oven for 2 to 3 hours. This will help prevent the custard from cracking. The cheesecake custard will continue cooking while it cools, and will give you a silky-smooth, and creamy texture.
Top with sweetened sour cream, or your favorite fruit topping and chill for an hour.
I don't bake my cheesecake in a pan of water. I do use my Kaiser spring-form pans.
As egg is the agent that firms the custard, as the cheesecake bakes, the proteins from the egg tend to shrink the custard. The custard is attached to the crust and held firm. The custard cracks because of the tightening proteins. By baking it until its still slightly underdone, (jiggles like jello), the shrinking custard doesn't pull itself apart, and as stared in the recipe, continues cooking as the cheesecake slowly cools inside the cooling oven.
Overcooked cheesecake cracks.
Seeeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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