Question: I can make a pretty good cheesecake, but seem to have the same problem. No matter what kind of cheesecake that I make, the top ALWAYS has a deep crack in it soon after I take it out of the oven! What is the solution to this?? Thanks for your input!
Answer: Cracks in cheesecake are a common problem, and you can find a variety of answers. They all boil down to the following: avoid over beating and over baking. You don’t want a lot of air in your batter, so just beat until smooth and stop. Add the eggs last, after everything is smooth, since they tend to hold air.
To prevent over baking, stick to the recommended time, even though the center may still look moist (although not runny). You want your cheesecake to set for awhile before serving, and it will firm up. One method is to bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes and then turn the oven off, leaving the cheesecake in the over for another hour. Invert a plate over the cheesecake once it comes out of the oven to ensure slow, smooth cooling.
You can also make a cheesecake with cornstarch or flour, as those tend to lessen cracking during baking. Try adding a tablespoon of flour per pound of cream cheese, at the same time you add sugar. One other safeguard you may want to try is baking your cheesecake in a water bath. Do do this, wrap the bottom of your pan in foil, then place it in a larger pan with water just halfway up the outside of your pan. Cook it slowly, at 325 degrees.
A final idea – as your cheesecake begins to cool, use a knife to cut around the edge of the pan to free it, so that there is no resistance as it shrinks during cooling.
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