Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lemon Cheesecake Disaster


I think I have a nemesis.

It's Cheesecake.

It hates me.


I'm going to go wallow in the pits of despair now. Goodbye FOREVER. Really.

Ok, maybe not. But seriously, I tried to make cheesecake today. I was so excited about sharing this lemony cheesecake with you. It took me three weeks to assemble all the ingredients (not because it was especially exotic. More because I am disorganized and could not seem to get 4 boxes of cream cheese together). And it was a total disaster. And you know what? Cheesecakes have always been a disaster. They crack, they burn, they sink in the middle, they don't gel up, the water bath breaks through the foil and turns the crust into goopy goo. Le sigh.


I'll spare you the gory blow by blow, let's just say that everything that could have possibly gone wrong did. The texture was too soft, it burned, the crust was soggy, blah blah blah.

Well, better luck next time I guess. :(


  1. Hey, that top pic looks fantastic and not at all like a disaster. In our house, it's not so much how it looks, but how it tastes. Can you scrape off the burnt, soggy part? If so, it's a SUCCESS! Yes, we have low expectations here. You'll get it next time!

  2. I hope so! I did cut off the top (it was inedible) but it's hard to fix the crust! We've been staring at it as it sits on the counter, wondering what to do with the thing. Throw it away? That seems to wasteful. Freeze it in slices for those night when we just don't care and any cheesecake is better than no cheesecake? Hmm.

  3. i think it looks beautiful! if that's your disaster, please don't come to my kitchen!!!

  4. Water baths are essential if you want to have a cheesecake that doesn't burn or crack. Springform pans are problematic with water baths. It is possible to back a cheesecake in a regular cake pan. Just make sure to line the bottom of the pan with parchment and spray the sides with non-stick spray. Cut around the sides of the cheesecake with a knife a few minutes after you remove it from the over, then let the cheesecake sit until cool. Do not try to remove it from the pan now. Cover the cheesecake and freeze it for at least 12 hours. Remove from freezer, sweat the side of the pan with a kitchen torch, then turn the cake over onto a cookie sheet and give the bottom of the pan a very solid whack. The cheesecake should pop right out.

    If you still want to use a springform pan, try using two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Some moisture may still get in, but it is much less likely to rip and cause a gooey mess.

    Keep experimenting, you'll get that part right. And I agree with everyone else; if it tastes good you did it right!


  5. I love to make cheesecakes and have been told that I am rather good at it. But I also have the problems you have described here. I agree that when it comes to just serving it to my family it's all about taste, not appearance! We've eaten some pretty ugly, but VERY yummy cheesecakes! If it cracks, just top it with cherry pie filling, fresh fruit, or even better- melted chocolate!!!

  6. Thanks for the advice! I'm going to try making another one soon, so hopefully it turns out better!

  7. I have made cheese cakes forever. I use a recipe from an old party cook book. My recipe does not fail--not in 40 years. Springform pans are great.
    My issue now is I bought this new rectangular spring form pan and the first time I used it-the butter from my vanilla wafer crust ran out the bottom-no harm to crust-I just thought it odd.

    My recipe is:
    Crust: 1 1/2 c. crushed van. wafers; 1/3 butter melted; 2 tbsp sugar; 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon; 3/4 tsp nutmeg

    Cake: 1 1/2 paks cr chez, 3 eggs (one at time) 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp clear vanilla, 1 tsp lemon rind and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Bake 375-45 min; cool 10 min.

    After baked layer: 2c. sour cream; 3 tbsp sugar; 1 tsp clear vanilla
    spread "after Baked" layer and bake 10 min 500 degrees.
    With after baked layer do not freeze-defrosting ruins cake--spread fruit on "after layer".

  8. Just found your blog tonight and I am thrilled - great recipes and gluten free too!!!! IF you ever have a cheesecake disaster again - Take the edible part of the cheesecake and roll it into balls about 1 1/2" diameter - insert sucker stick. I roll them in jimmies etc, or put on sprinkles but the best are dipped in chocolate. I put them on cookie sheet and freeze. It takes a very short time to thaw them out and you can have a nice treat.

  9. This makes me feel better about the cheesecake I tried to make last night that was a total disaster. I followed the recipe to a T but there was no mention of a water bath!
    Thank you!