Pride goes before a soggy middle

Something about fall makes me want to pull out allllllllllll the recipes for baked things.  Starting in early September I get hit by the apple and pear craze.  November means all things pumpkin and we’re about to hit December which means CRANBERRIES.

I think it goes without saying by now that the kitchen is not exactly my forte.  Well, even I was surprised when my pumpkin cheesecake developed cracks the size of the Grand Canyon.  For real.  I was planning to take it to carry in at church the next day.  I didn’t feel like making more food so the next morning I whipped up some heavy whipping cream, added a little cream cheese to stabilize it, and just before lunch I coated that baby so well you couldn’t see a thing …. until people started cutting it.

I wasn’t about to try again for a long time.  Then my friend who is the queen of cheesecakes told me to bake it low and slow.  So I did.  I followed directions to a t.  Beating when  I was supposed to beat and barely folding in the eggs at the end.  I slid that baby into the oven with more care than I handled my newborns and gently eased the door shut.  225.  Two hours.  Turn off the oven.  Don’t crack the oven until an hour later.

When I obediently opened the door as the timer beeped, I’m pretty sure my pride added an inch to my head.  You just got your doctorate?  I baked a perfect cheesecake!

pumpkin cheesecake (7 of 10)

I garnished it with sheer joy, took pictures of it, and happily took it along to David’s parents’ house that night for dinner.

You can see just how  well that worked out. {Insert all the rolls eyes emoticons} 😀


Another friend said the low and slow never works for her.  Bake at 400 works for her sister.  Water bath works for her.  Low and slow works for another sister.  So what’s YOUR secret????  I feel like these cheesecakes are holding out on me!

16 thoughts on “Pride goes before a soggy middle

  1. Sharon

    I used to always do a water bath, then I read somewhere to bake it at 300 for a half hour, turn the oven off and open the door for a half hour, turn the oven back on at 300, close the door and bake for 30-40 min. Perfect👍

  2. Marylou Hershberger

    My mom is a Cheesecake-Baking Queen. She says low and slow and let it cool in the oven slowly. Is your oven temp accurate? I know she made pumpkin cheesecakes (along with others) for my nephews wedding last year. If you want, I can get her specific recipe. She also only uses store brand cream cheese and absolutely doesn’t want Philadelphia brand. The texture is different. She is making cheesecakes for a local business to give out at Christmas and the other day I opened her extra fridge and burst out laughing. She guessed why! There were 100 bars of cream cheese scattered over the fridge in preparation for the upcoming orders. Kroger had a .92/bar sale. :)

    1. Michelle Post author

      Your mom sounds like my friend! I love that she uses Kroger cream cheese. :) I’m brand conscious on important things like Lipton tea bags but not on something like cream cheese that goes in with so many other things. 100 bars of cream cheese? That’s so many cheesecakes!! And no, my oven is pretty terrible. I haven’t baked bread in it for 9 years b/c the accubake went out and now my bread flops. It was super expensive to replace the part so we held out. I have a new stove on order (jumping up and down!) so maybe I’ll tray again after that!

  3. Mariann Miller

    Baking in a water bath is the only way I can make a nice cheesecake. I think temp is 300.
    Hey soggy middle is way better than dry crumbly overbaked!

  4. Charlotte

    Cheesecakes of any sort, soggy or not, are huge winners with me! I always thought the water bath was messy and sometimes my pan wasn’t tight enough or something and the crust would get soggy. Do now I just put a pan of water on the rack underneath the cheesecake. And don’t beat the stuffings out of it after you have the eggs in it. Perfect every time! 😜😄😂

    1. Michelle Post author

      I do the pan underneath, too, and just barely folded the eggs in! I’m thinking it’s the stove that’s the culprit for now. I may have another reality check in a few weeks. :)

  5. Karen

    I just saw this and thought I’d add my two cents since I baked 2 cheesecakes last weekend! One was flawless and the other had a Grand Canyon that I also coolly covered with piped whipped cream (ha). The second one I baked a little long (will crack while baking), and also forgot to run a knife around the edge as soon as it came out of the oven (crack after baking). The reason for the knife is that cheesecakes shrink a little while cooling and you don’t want the side sticking to the edge. Otherwise I usually bake at 325* for 45-50 minutes or until the center is not quiiite set, then turn the oven off, open the door a little and leave them in for another 15 minutes. Remove and run a knife around and they usually turn out well. Hope your next one is a great success!

    1. Michelle Post author

      That knife trick keeps popping up! I’m going to have to try that. But I’m also waiting until my new stove gets delivered tomorrow. I suspect there is a correlation between my accubake feature going out about nine years ago and the fact that bread and cheesecakes have flopped for me ever since!

  6. Lo

    Huh? I’ve always just used the little recipes on the cream cheese packages and never once thought that cheesecakes were difficult… but now I’m paranoid about my next one!!! :0

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