Foolproof New York Cheesecake
Why This Recipe Works
The classic New York Cheesecake owes its distinctive browned top and velvety texture to a risky baking technique. It spends 10 minutes in a 500-degree oven, after which the oven is turned down to 200 degrees for the remainder of the baking time. Success with this method is dependent on the oven temperature falling at a very specific rate: too fast and your cheesecake will be soupy; too slow and it will be burned, cracked, and grainy.
For success every time, we turned the conventional method on its head: We baked the cheesecake for about 3 hours at the lower temperature and then removed it from the oven while we heated the oven to 500 degrees. Finishing the cake at the higher temperature produced the proper appearance and texture, without the risk. A hybrid graham cracker/shortbread crust gave our cheesecake the classic flavor and the structure to withstand prolonged contact with the wet filling without turning soggy, for a perfect cheesecake every time.