This was the second time I baked a cheesecake using cake strips doubled-wrapped around the pan and an insulated cookie sheet to set the pan on, instead of a water bath. Both cheesecakes were incredibly creamy and tender, the creamiest I have ever eaten. DH agrees with me. He said, half-jokingly, that he had to chew the cheesecake because of the candied zest—otherwise he would have swallowed without chewing.
The first time was when I baked Rose’s Pumpkin Cheesecake (also posted under Show and Tell). It was also incredibly creamy, but I didn’t want to make a big deal out of not using a water bath, as I had only tried this method one time and thought it might be a fluke. (That time I only used the strips, not the insulated cookie sheet.)This is now the second time, but I know twice does not make for a scientific experiment.
My theory is that the strips, plus the insulated cookie sheet, fill the same purpose as a water bath to moderate the temperature. I hope my baking friends here on the forum try this method and let me know their results. I may be on to something or I may have rocks in my head (but not in my cheesecakes :) I hope it is the former, because I don’t like dealing with water baths if I don’t have to. I know my baking friends on the forum will let me know which is the case.
This cheesecake, with recipes for the curd and zest, are on my blog.
Special thanks to Darlene for walking me through the unmolding, as it was the first time I baked a cheesecake without a crust and not in a springform pan.