Is It Done Yet?

Some cheesecake recipes say to bake until the center is just barely firm. What is a good yardstick to use when judging that condition? —M.L., Walnut Creek, California

Judging the doneness of cheesecake can be tricky. Our Test Kitchen determines doneness by tapping the side of the pan with a wooden spoon to measure the center of the cheesecake's "jiggle." It should be about the size of a walnut, as a general rule of thumb. It is important to remember that cheesecakes do not set up completely until they are thoroughly cooled or chilled.

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