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Oct 27, 2012 12:08 PM

Cheesecake in a gas oven... recipe help, please!

Hi. I have been given a recipe from my Aunt for cheesecake. In the baking instructions it says to bake at 350 for 1 hour then turn oven off and leave in for 1 more hour. Now, I have read on other recipes that use this method that this will not work with a gas oven as the heat escapes too quickly. Is this true? What should I do to modify?

Here is the complete recipe:

Butter Large Spring Pan

Bake @ 350 degrees

1 ½ cups sugar
4 eggs –separated
½ tsp vanilla
½ lemon (juice only) = 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 lb cream cheese
1 lb ricotta cheese
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ lb melted butter
1 ½ pints sour cream

Whip 4 egg whites stiff

In a large bowl mix, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon juice
Add cream cheese and ricotta cheese mix again.
Add flour, corn starch and melted butter mix again.
Add sour cream and mix
Add the egg whites ad fold in.

Pour into spring form pan it should be ½” from top of pan.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour turn oven off and leave in 1 more hour.

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  1. I've honestly never heard of the heat escaping more quickly out of a gas oven.
    However, the purpose of leaving it in the oven after you turn it off is to gently finish baking it without overcooking the filling. And the added bonus is that it it a lot easier to remove the cooled cake from the oven. After an hour in the oven, the cake will have a lot of its own heat, so I would not worry about any escaping.

    I have a gas oven, and have successfully made the Junior's cheesecake recipe a few times.

    4 Replies
    1. re: iluvcookies

      Thanks, the reason why I was thinking the heat escaped more quickly was because when I attempted this receipe: it didn't even come close to working and I had to leave the oven on 200 to complete the cooking. But, what you said makes sense - the cake itself holds a lot of heat so I will give it a go.

      What is the best way to determine the "doneness" of a cheesecake?

      1. re: keylimesqueez

        It shouldn't be brown, but it should be just slighly "jiggly", when you turn off the oven.

        And that link is pretty interesting. I've heard of the technique before but never tried it. Though I would imagine that the insulation properties of the oven matter quite a bit.

        1. re: keylimesqueez

          The temperature should be between 130-150 degrees – if it isn’t put it back in the oven at 325 degrees and check it every 10 minutes. Put the finished roast on a plate and cover it with tin foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.


          did you proceed through to this step with your beef? how could it not work?

          that being said, ovens can vary quite a lot in calibration. you may want to invest in having that done, or at the least invest in a good oven thermometer.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Yep, it finally cooked but it took an additional hour at 325. But I also discovered that my meat thermometer is not very effective. I am investing in an electric one.

      2. Most modern ovens are well insulated, and the oven should just slowly cool down - which is the point of leaving the cheesecake in - so it's temp comes down slowly to prevent cracking.

        If you open the door in 1/2 an hour after turning off the oven and it seems room temp in there already, simply turn oven on lowest setting for a couple of minutes to warm it again and shut off again. Simple.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gingershelley

          Thanks! Will keep this in mind. :) I'm not sure why, but cheesecake is one of the most daunting recipes I have come across! LOL

        2. I have a gas oven, and the cheese cake I make requires me to turn it off and leave it in the oven, and I've never had a single problem with that. Ever.

          1. Almost finished. Looks good, smells amazing!

            15 Replies
            1. re: keylimesqueez

              OK, it's had time to cool. So how is it?

              1. re: todao

                Well, it tastes great, but judging from the color the heat was either too high or the time (1h) was too long.

                1. re: keylimesqueez

                  Oooops! First queestion:: Do you use an oven thermometer, or do you just rely on your oven to be accurate? NEVER trust the accuracy of an oven, no natter how much you paid for it. Especially gas!

                  Then, that crack down the middle is why you allow a cheese cake to finish baking in a turned off (but don't open the door) oven as it cools.

                  If you want to hide the crack in the top, it's easy enough to do. Just mix a carton of full fat sour cream with about a half teaspoon or so of really good vanilla and a tablespoon of sugar, mix well until the sugar is fully desolved, then spread it over the not quite cold cheese cake and return it to a 350F oven for 10 minutes or so, then take it out and allow to cool. No one will ever know your cheese cake cracked! '-)

                  For the record, I bake my cheesecake for 45 minutes in a 350f oven then another ten minutes with the sour cream whether it has cracked or not...

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    I do not have an oven thermometer (bad!) I think I am going to purchase one. The crack is what is perplexing me - as soon as I put the cheesecake in the oven I shut the door and never opened it again for 2 hours, so heat must be escaping somehow, right? I am not too worried about the crack since this is just for learning not for entertaining. Thanks for the tips. :)

                    1. re: keylimesqueez

                      I leave the cheesecake in the oven when it's barely cooked on the outer third, then I crack the door open w/ a wooden spoon. You want the heat to escape gradually so the sudden change in temperature doesn't cause cracking. Also, did you use a water bath? That makes a big difference.

                      Refrigerate your cheesecake overnight. The crack might come together.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I did not use a water bath. How does that work?

                        1. re: keylimesqueez

                          I was going to describe it and decided a video would be easier:


                  2. re: keylimesqueez

                    Too hot, too long. I saw your OP and was too late to warn you.

                    I bake cheesecakes at 300, you don't want too much browning, check after 40 minutes. If it is not setting, raise the temp. If it is browning or rising like yours, lower the temp by 25 degrees in either direction.

                    Also periodically check the cake while the oven is off and cooling, you can still overbake.

                    You have to loosen the cheesecake from the edge of the pan, or else it will crack as it cools.

                    1. re: jaykayen

                      Oh, thanks! Will remember this for next time. I am determined to master the cheesecake.

                      1. re: keylimesqueez

                        I've looked over your recipe, and it's not quite a "real" traditional cheesecake (imo), if that's what you're after. If you'd like to try something a whole lot easier, I'll share my amazingly simple and amazingly old fashioned recipe with you, but do use an oven thermometer to make sure your temperature is accurate. Here goes:

                        EDIT: I don't keep very good notes, and it is possibly that I double this recipe for the 10 inch spring form!!! I only have 2 springforms, an 8" and a 10", but the more I think about it, I'm pretty sure I remember always unwrapping six packs of cream cheese and 24 ounces would only be three... Maybe use an 8" springform? Sorry!

                        .................................DIVINE CHEESECAKE.............................

                        Oven: 350F

                        Line 10 inch buttered (do not use oil or margarine, but ghee/clarified butter is acceptable, though unsalted butter is traditional) springform pan with graham cracker crust, bringing the crust all the way up the side of the pan in a thin layer but a little more generous across the bottom of the pan. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil about an inch or two longer than the circumference of the pan, then fold it lengthwise into a band and gently set it in place to keep the sides of the crust from slumping during blind (empty) baking. There SHOULD be enough butter in the crust to keep it from sticking, but if you want to butter the surface that comes in contact with the crust, it couldn't hurt. I use a mixture of fairly finely crushed graham crackers, butter and sugar mixed in my food processor in the highest ratio of graham crackers to butter as I can get that will hold its shape when squeezed in my hand. Keep in mind that you can always add more butter, but it's hard to take it out, so if it's too mooshy you just have to add more graham crackers! For this recipe, I use at least three "packs" of graham crackers from a four pack box. If you wish, you can also add a faint touch of cinnamon, but do not be generous! Pre-bake the graham cracker crust for about ten or fifteen minutes and allow to cool completely before removing the inner collar and filling.

                        The Cheesecake:

                        2 gently packed teaspoons fresh lemon zest
                        24 ounces of cream cheese
                        1 cup granulated sugar
                        1/4 tsp salt

                        Grate zest of lemon fine, measure 2 tsp and beat with the flat beater in a mixer bowl with cream cheese at medium speed until very creamy. Add 1 cup sugar, salt and eggs all at once and continue to beat and scrape occasionally for 10 minutes until creamy and lemon colored. These times are for a planetary action mixer, such as a Kitchenaid. If you're using a hand held mixer, it may require more time to achieve the creamy yellow color. Do not underbeat! Pour onto graham cracker crust in springform pan and tilt the pan so the batter climbs to the top of the crust/pan. This helps ensure that the batter will climb evenly instead of having a domed top when baked. Place on center rack of oven and bake for 40 minutes OR until cake is set. DO NOT use convection! Remove from oven and set cake on a cooling rack without disturbing the spring form. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Do not turn oven off!

                        1.5 cups sour cream
                        1/2 tsp vanilla
                        1 Tbsp granulated sugar (fine granulated, if you have it)

                        Mix 1.5 cups of sour cream, 1/2 tsp good grade vanilla extract and 1 Tbsp granulated sugar with a fork or small balloon whisk until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over cake and spread evenly, return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven (you can turn the oven off this time) and allow to cool in pan until cold. Chill in pan. To serve, run a thin knife around the inside edge of the springform and release the sides of the pan. Cheese cake may be served from the spring form base, or you can run a spatula or long bladed carving knife hard against the bottom of the pan and then slide the cheesecake gently onto a cake plate.

                        If you wish, you can top the cheesecake with a good grade of bought or home made cherry pie filling; fanned fresh strawberries; a caramel/nut topping; or a creme brulee style layer of torched sugar; but this cheesecake is fabulous all by itself if you don't want to bother gilding the lily. Or if you like gilding lilies, it makes a magnificent holiday dessert with some crumpled 24 karat food grade gold leaf in a band around the top of the cheesecake, but only do this if you like hearing lots of oohs and ahhhs.

                        I've been using this recipe since the 1970s, but now in the second decade of the 21st century it is commonly referred to as a New York style cheesecake in its un-garnished form. Diet cheesecake it ain't! This size cheesecake serves 12 generously. It's very rich!

                        1. re: keylimesqueez

                          I've added an edit to my recipe above, so if you missed it, please check the recipe as it exists now! It really is a delicious recipe, but it's not supposed to be thin as a pancake. '-)


                      2. re: keylimesqueez

                        I see the recipe you listed in the OP says: "Butter Large Spring Pan"

                        What is the recommended size of the spring pan? What size did you use?
                        They do vary quite a bit. Example: If the original recipe calls for a 12" springform pan, and a 10" or 9" pan is used, the whole cake will be much denser and taller, and will require a more moderated baking time to ensure the inside cooks evenly without over-browning the edges.

                        1. re: Novelli

                          I used a 9 inch, as that was what I had, however I am pretty sure my aunt uses a 10 or 12 inch because there was a lot of batter leftover. I left 1/2 inch space at the top.

                          1. re: keylimesqueez

                            So you used less batter, but the same cooking time/temp, in a pan that may have been smaller than what was intended for the original recipe.

                            I believe that is your culprit...but as long as it tastes great and you enjoy it, that's all that matters!
                            It may be something to take into consideration the next time you try the recipe again.

                            happy baking!

                  3. Just recently I made a cheesecake (the mango cheesecake from 660 Curries) and the instructions read "overbeating the eggs can result in a cheesecake with deep cracks in it."
                    I never read that before in a cheesecake recipe, and have had many (pale, perfectly cooked) cracked ones, so it's possible that's a factor. The author said beat up the cheese all you want, but beat the eggs in slowly, one at a time, and just 'til blended. That one didn't crack.
                    My favorite disguise for the cracks in the top are stemmed maraschino cherries piled up the middle.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: blue room

                      Interesting, that could be it since I beat the egg yolks in first, then the other ingredients. Also, I whipped my egg whites at the beginning of the recipe and found that they "fell apart" a bit once it was time to fold them in. Next time, I add egg yolks at the end and then whip whites and fold in.

                      1. re: keylimesqueez

                        There are dozens of different "cheesecake" recipes, as well as dozens of ways to mix the ingredients. Most often the cracks are a result of over-baking and cooling too quickly. In my recipe (a very old recipe, I might add) you add the eggs all at once and beat until creamy yellow. In other recipes, you add eggs one at a time. Some recipes include flour. For cheesecake, there is no one remedy that fits all cheesecake cracks!

                        1. re: Caroline1

                          Yes, I have discovered Cheesecakes are like Gumbos (I am from South Louisiana). Everyone has their own recipe and none is better than your mama's!