Success! Finally, after years of baking cheesecakes, we finally came up trumps with a crack-free variety! Oh, the joy, when we opened the oven door, after impatiently waiting a full two hours, to see the reward: a super smooth finished top!
So our tips posted last week for the perfect cheesecake do work. Turns out, the proof really is in the pudding! Full disclosure: We didn’t follow all the tips, such as the one about separating eggs, nor about changing the oven temperature. Volume isn’t an issue we’ve had in the past, so we chose to focus on the tips for a smooth finish.
We drained the cheese, refrigerated the crust, and baked on a low temperature with a pan of boiling water at the bottom of the stove. (Note: Most of the water had evaporated by the time we removed the cake from the oven.) Most importantly, we left the cake in the over – door unopened – for 2 hours, and then let it sit at room temperature for about 3 more. And voilà, a crack-free crust!
Happy baking & Shavuot sameach!
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Speculoos Crust
Adapted from Martha Stewart, Paula Deen and Bon Appetit
- 1½ C crushed biscuits gingersnaps or speculoos work well
- ½ stick butter, melted
- 32 oz. full-fat cream cheese
- 1 ½ C sugar
- 1 C packed pumpkin puree
- 2 T cornstarch, sifted
- ½ t ground cinnamon
- ⅛ t allspice
- ⅛ t ground cloves
- dash nutmeg
- 4 eggs
Drain the cream cheese in a fine sieve for 2 hours. Meanwhile mix together the cookie crumbs and melted butter and press into the bottom and a up the sides of a 9” springform pan. Refrigerate crust for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 300ºF.
Beat the cheese together with the sugar until smooth. Add the pumpkin ¼ cup at a time, beating in between till smooth and incorporated. Add the cornstarch and spices. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Pour filling into prepared springform.
Pour hot water into an baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Place the springform in the middle of the oven, and bake for 45 minutes. Turn the heat off, but leave the cake in the oven – making sure not to open the door – for 2 hours. Remove from oven and cool completely at room temperature (this is key!). Refrigerate overnight before serving.