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Old 04-11-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
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Red face Cheesecake help! Those cracks.

Hi folks, before I start chasing around I hope someone can help me. Cheese cake baking and those cracks that form. I know there is a way to reduce or eliminate them. Standard recipe using a farmer's cheese (made my own from buttermilk and it is excellent). Standard Ukrainian taste with lemon zest and juice and some raisins. Butter, Sugar, Vanilla, 3 eggs, a bit of flour. Standard crust procedure uses some finely chopped almonds. Made in a standard pie pan. Oven temp 300 degrees F for 1 and a half hours. Deep cracks. What is the secret?

The pie is excellent in taste and very smooth. But those cracks!! I can't brag on it to someone like CharlieD with those deep cracks. I have a facebook album going - Slavic foods I love and this one is authentic but not camera worthy. Any help?? Please?

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Old 04-11-2009, 06:57 PM   #2
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Cheese Cakes crack because they are over cooked...When your cake gets down to about a 3 in. dia. shakey/wobbly center...Take it out!!! --- You'll be tempted to say "it ain't done"!! It is!!!! Take it out, cool, refrigerate over night and...

Enjoy!
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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I've heard that a bain-marie (hot water bath) while baking can help. I usually just put some sort of topping to cover the cracks!
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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yes i used to get cracks in my cheese cake till i started using a water bath, not a crack since. i just put the springform pan in a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water half way up the side of the springform pan. i just use room temp water i never boil it first. i never get a crack. also don't open the oven.

Bake at 350˚ 1 hour (NO MORE). Turn off oven (DO NOT OPEN OVEN), let sit in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool on rack 1 hour then refrigerate 6 - 12 hours.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
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Both answers you have received are spot on. If you have a bain marie, use it and it will help eliminate the cracks. If you don't you can either use a cookie sheet with water in it, or you can do what UB suggests. The cheesecake will continue to cook for a bit once its out of the oven so that "wiggliness" will go away.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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Yep a bain marie (water bath) will do the trick but, just in case, wrap your springform pan in heavy-duty foil before putting it into the water. Some older springform pans can allow water to come in. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:17 PM   #7
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yes, bain maries hold moisture in your oven so you can prevent cracks. regardless, if your cheesecake was yummy, that counts!
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:55 PM   #8
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Thank you to everyone - you brought it all back for me! Acouple of years ago I could do this - had it down, but the baking part had left me (old timers ah, problem? :). I use a regular pie pan for my cheese cakes - I don't have a tart pan but have made many in the pie pan. Never used a spring pan for the Ukrainian style. The time and temp, the water bath, all that - especially not to overcook (which I did) are all important. I'll do this again! This one is good to the taste but not to the eye. Got to have both! Thanks again.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:42 AM   #9
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Cheesecake cracks

I never over-bake a cheesecake, and yet I still can get a crack or two. It's because the cheesecake has no crust up the sides, and as the cake puffs, it clings to the side of the pan. When it cools and contracts, well, something has to give. Hence the cracks. Here's another trick to try, but only if you use a springform pan.

Make a collar of parchment paper, and butter it on both sides. Place it above the crust line before adding the filling. When the cake is done, and as it cools, it will not stick to the side of the pan and the collar will expand and contract with it.

Et voilà...
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:50 AM   #10
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Good points! Also you may try applying a little shortening to the edges of the pan prior to pouring in the batter...Or, just as the Cake comes out of the oven...let it rest for just a very few minutes..then run a sharp knife around the outside edge to keep the cake from clinging to the sides as it cools!
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