Thursday, August 6, 2020 -
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Troubleshooting the perfect cheesecake

As regular readers of the IJN blog will know, Shavuot is one of our favorite times of year, and that’s mostly down to one thing: cheesecake! Over the years, we’ve tested a variety of recipes, from the classic Junior’s to a Sicilian version with ricotta, but as good as our past efforts have tasted, they’ve come up short in terms of looks. The crack-free cheesecake remains the unattainable ideal (see above!).

So ahead of this year’s cheesecake effort – and yes, don’t worry, we’ll be testing a new recipe this year – we’ve done a bit of investigating and have put together a list of tips for creating the perfect cheesecake. We’ll be putting these to the test over the weekend, when we try out this year’s selection, a Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Issue #1: Watery Consistency

Drain the cheese before you get started: Either strain the cheese in a fine sieve, or drape the inside of a colander with a cheesecloth and leave your cheese to drain for 2 hours.

Issue #2: Soggy Bottom

Make your crust using Petit Beurre-style tea biscuits. After combining with the rest of your crust ingredients (for example: sugar, melted butter) press into your springform pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Issue #3: Volume

Separate your eggs and whip the white separately into a stable peak. Don’t overbeat. Fold into your yolk-cheese mixture with a hand-held beater.

Issue #4: Dryness

Place a pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven during baking.

Issue #5: Density

Bake at 390ºF for the first 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and run a wet knife around the rim of the baking dish. Put the cake back in the oven and continue baking at 160ºF. This allows the cake to rise and lets the air collected inside to escape. Don’t open the door again during baking.

After baking time has elapsed, leave your cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes after baking with the heat off. When you take out the cake, run a wet knife around the rim a second time. Cool at room temperature for 2 hours and then refrigerate overnight before serving. Refrigeration enables the cake to set.

Tune back in on Monday to find out how well these tips worked – and let us know if you have foolproof tips of your own! {UPDATE: Recipe now online!}

4 thoughts on “Troubleshooting the perfect cheesecake

  1. Jill S.

    I’ve never separated eggs. But I always leave the cake in the oven after baking. Cheesecake is really an all day project – so it’s good we only make it once a year!

  2. Ben

    These are great tips, but for some reason i CANNOT stop the top of my crust from cracking. Luckily the sour cream topping hides all faults!


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