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Old 12-10-2005, 11:06 PM   #1
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Cheesecake Blues

I "attempted" to make a New York Style cheesecake yesterday and the beginning of the recipe told me to bake it at 450 for 15 min. During this time, it burned on the top. I've seen other recipes that tell me to even bake it at 500 for 10 min. I'm wanting to make a cheesecake for Christmas this year, but don't know how to do it w/ o burning it. Also, the middle was not like a baked cheesecake, more creamy than the dry I like. Does anyone have a foolproof recipe that is easy to follow for the novice baker and should I have lowered my oven rack. I used a springform pan so I thought it'd come out beautifully. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

JoAnn E.


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Old 12-10-2005, 11:14 PM   #2
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Here is a recipe I have been using for several years and it is FANTASTIC! Everyine I serve it to raves about it. It's worth doing. I'm making it again for Christmas.


For the Crust:
2 1/3 C Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 C Unsalted Butter, melted
1/4 C Sugar

For the Filling:

2 Lb Cream Cheese, room temp.
1 1/2 C Sugar
1/4 C Flour
5 Eggs
16 Oz Sour Cream
1/4 C Milk
1 T Vanilla Extract

Make the Crust:
Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375° F.

Wrap the outside of a 10-inch-diameter springform pan with heavy-duty foil.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse just until the crumbs are moist.

Press the crumb mixture firmly onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the prepared pan. Use a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup to press the crumbs into place.

Bake until the crust begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Maintain oven temperature.

Make the Filling:
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until will blended then beat in the flour.

Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Beat in the sour cream, milk and vanilla. Pour the filling into the crust.

Place the springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of pan.

Bake the cheesecake until just set in center and top is slightly puffed and golden brown, about 1 hour.

Turn off oven and keep the door closed. Leave the cake in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove springform pan from roasting pan and remove the foil. Cool it on a cooling rack for a couple of hours. Refrigerate at least 6 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight before removing from the pan.
To remove the cake from the pan, first run a thin bladed knife around the inside of the pan to separate the cake from the side of the pan. Remove the springform sides.

Place the cheesecake with the pan bottom on a burner and heat it for about 10 seconds. This will soften the butter in the crust so you can slide the cake off the pan bottom onto a serving plate. Use a long frosting spatula or knife blade to ease the transfer.

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:39 PM   #3
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OMGosh! Thank you for the well detailed recipe. I never thought of a bath for it! Thankseversomuch!!!!!
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Old 12-11-2005, 03:41 AM   #4
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My recipe is a little different from Andy's but about the same ... I use a cross between the ingredients from the one from Jeff Smith (The Furgal Gourmet) and the baking technique of Tyler Florence.

The one thing Andy left out ... regardless of the recipe - "Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it" before you put it in the roasting pan and add the water. Springform pans are NOT water-proof .... not even the ones that sell for $30 more than a regular WalMart/K-Mart springform pan because they "claim" to be waterproof. Cook's Illustrated did a test and they all leak to some degree.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:25 PM   #5
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I make cheesecakes often enough and I can vouch for what both Michael and Andy said. My recipe is different as well, but very similar. I own two Kaiser Springform pans. They are fairy heavy. I start my cheesecakes in a 450' oven for ten mintues, then turn the temp down to 180 and bake for an additional hour. They never burn or scorch, and I don't use a water bath. My oven is garunteed to be withing plus or minus 5 degrees from the digital display.

I think there are 2 possibilities to your burning dilema. First, the heaveir pans I use take longer to heat and so don't transfer as much energy into the crust for as long a time. Also, I freeze the graham cracker/butter crust before filling. This also slows the heating time.

The other possibility, check your oven temp with an oven thermometer.

As for the texture issue, you are taking it out too soon. Different people expect different textures from their cheesecakes. Some like a drier, heavy texture, while others like theirs with a creamier texture (this only applies to New York Style Cheesecakes). The difference is in how long the custard is allowed to set.

The last time I baked my standard recipe, I took it out while the middle still jiggled just a bit, as sugested on an Alton Brown episode. He stated that it was the "proper" way to present cheesecake. The middle did come out as he said, fairly solid, but very creamy and smooth. Personally, I didn't like it as well. So now, I will always make sure the center is completely set by cooking for an hour.

Oh, and the reason I bake at 175 instead of the original recipe's 200 degrees, is that I increase the recipe by 50% and bake it in a 10-inch, round springform pan. If I baked it at 200, by the time the middle was completely set, the crust would be scorched.

Hope this helps.

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