After much debate and discussion, trial and error, as well as a few tears shed, I believe, with the suggestions received from very helpful readers, I have found the answer to baking a crack-free cheesecake. I’ve tried the hot water bath method with mixed results and quite frankly I don’t think it’s worth the extra effort. One of the suggestions sent to me worked quite well and I feel it is the answer to avoiding cracking during the cooling period in the oven:
- Once the cheesecake is fully cooked (toothpick inserted in center comes out clean), turn off the oven
- Slide the oven rack out so you can easily reach the cake
- With a spatula carefully slide around rim of pan to loosen the cake from rim
- Slide the rack back in oven, close the oven door, and let the cake cool for one hour before removing
By releasing the edges of the cake from the inside of the springform pan, the cake is then free to contract and is much less likely to crack in the process.