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Knowing When Pies, Pastries and Cheesecakes are Done

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2006

Few kitchen mishaps are more frustrating than improper cooking. Here's how to determine when pies, pastries, and cheesecakes are done.

Pies and Pastries

For pies and pastries, it's all about color. A well-browned crust is more flavorful than a blond one, and it won't be doughy in the middle. We bake all pies in glass pie plates so we can examine the bottom of the crust to determine doneness. When working with puff pastry or other flaky doughs, lift up the bottom of individual pieces and look for even browning.

Cheesecakes

A cheesecake is done when the center just barely jiggles. Since this can be difficult to judge, try this tip. Cheesecake is ready to come out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. (At higher temperatures, the texture will suffer.) if possible, insert the thermometer into the side of the cheesecake where it rises above the pan (otherwise, insert it into the center of the cake).

Try to insert the thermometer in the side of the cheesecake, where it rises above the pan.