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Is there a way to prevent cheesecake from cracking?

Is there a way to prevent cheesecake from cracking?
Submitted by kayla.b.craig

Rich, creamy cheesecake is prone to cracking; even the best professional bakers experience this dreaded problem. Luckily, if a cheesecake cracks, it will still taste divine. And if you add a simple topping of sour cream, fresh berries, or sliced fruit to hide the crack, no one will be the wiser.

Begin with room temperature cheese, bake cheesecake at low heat in a water bath, and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven to help alleviate cracking.

Try this recipe—it almost never cracks!  

1-1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For crust, in a bowl combine crushed graham crackers, walnuts, the 1 tablespoon sugar, and, if desired, the cinnamon. Stir in melted butter. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, the 1 cup sugar, the flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in milk until smooth. Stir in eggs and, if desired, lemon peel.
3. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place the pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes for an 8-inch pan, 35 to 40 minutes for a 9-inch pan, or until a 2-1/2-inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken.
4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen the crust from sides of pan; cool for 30 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake completely on rack. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Makes 12 servings.

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