Baking with Cast Iron: Cheesecake

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Sara, here

While I’m working out my copper baking sheets, the pattern, the corners, and the tin-lining, as well as how thick I can go without breaking my tools to make them, I thought I’d play with something else that is known for baking well! Cast iron!

Besides using cast iron skillets for the tried and true brownies, cornbread and the like, I thought it would be interesting to see how a cheesecake would do in a cast iron piece. The principles should still be the same, so I thought it was worth a try!

I pulled a basic cheesecake recipe off the internet because I’m definitely not talented enough to make up a cheesecake recipe! I did add a few of my own touches, which is 1 tsp of lemon zest, 1 tsp of orange zest, and 2 tsp local honey. And if you have it, 1 tsp orange extract!

Before starting, I put a 12” round cast iron skillet in the oven and turned it on to the required beginning temp. This allows the cast iron to heat slowly and be full of that nice even heat by the time I get to actually putting in the cheesecake. I did take it out for 30 minutes when the oven got hot enough and then put in the crust and allowed that to bake per instructions.

After following the directions for mixing up the cheesecake recipe per the instructions and folding in my three extra ingredients right at the end, I then put it in the still-warm skillet, popped it all into the oven, and watched.

So, a few things! The cast iron heat did cook the batter a bit faster than in my spring form. The sides of a skillet aren’t as high as a spring form, though, so I worried it would overflow. It didn’t but it was a little touch and go for a while!

I also wondered if the bottoms and sides would overbake. They didn’t! Woo!

The top got darker than I usually see with spring form pans, but didn’t crack.

My husband, a cheesecake lover, is thrilled. He would like me to do more experiments like this again.

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