This is a Baklava cheesecake. Pistachio and Pecan shortbread crust, a creamy honey cheesecake filling, topped with a baklava layer, soaked in honey syrup. The best dessert you’ve ever had!
Yield : 8 servings
Prep Time : 60 mins
Cook Time : 80 mins
Total Time : 140 mins
1/3 cup white sugar 2.33 oz, 66 grams
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup honey
Pistachio Pecan Shortbread Crust
3/4 cup unsalted butter softened (6 oz, 170 grams)
3/4 cup powdered sugar 3.37 oz, 95.54 grams
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 7.8 oz, 221 grams
3/4 cup nuts chopped very finely I used pistachios and pecans
1 lb phyllo pastry* 453.5 grams
1 cup finely chopped nuts I used pistachios and pecans (4.4 oz, 125 grams)
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
4 oz butter melted and cooled (some people use clarified butter*) (113 grams, 1/2 cup)
2 cups cream cheese at room temperature (16 oz, 453 grams)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring them to a boil over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to medium low heat. Keep stirring as it boils for about 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Pistachio Pecan Shortbread Crust
Place butter in the mixer bowl. Cream on medium high for 2 minutes. The butter will work best if it’s softened, but not too soft.
With the mixer off, add powdered sugar. Mix on low until combined. Raise speed to medium-high and cream for 1 minute.
Add vanilla. Mix to combine.
Add flour, mix on low until the dough just comes together. Add pistachios and pecans and fold. Don’t over mix the dough.
Coat a 9 or 8 inch springform pan with a bit of oil, or non-stick spray.
Now put the crust dough in the pan and start to pat the dough down to line the whole bottom and sides of the springform pan with the crust dough.
I like to do this a little bit at a time. I grab a little bit of dough and press it down the bottom. Then I grab another bit and keep patching it up, as I lightly press it down with my fingers. If you find the dough is too wet, it’s ok to flour your fingers a little bit, though the dough shouldn’t be that wet to handle.
Once you’ve covered the sides and bottom of the pan evenly with the cookie dough, place it in the freezer while you work on the cheesecake and the baklava topping.
Take phyllo dough out of the freezer and let it rest in the fridge overnight to thaw, or for 3 hours at room temperature.
Mix crushed nuts with cinnamon. Set aside.
Measure the inside of your crust-lined cheesecake pan. Mine measured 6 inches, because of my thick crust since I used a 8” pan. So I cut a 6” circle out of my phyllo sheets. I used a cake pan to measure the circle and used a knife to cut around it.
Now, do this over a silicone mat.
Brush some butter over 1 circle of phyllo dough. Place another circle on top. Brush butter over the entire surface. Don’t drench it, just make sure it’s covered.
Place another circle on top. Brush with butter again.
Place another circle on top. Repeat with the butter.
Repeat with another circle of dough. Do this until you’ve stacked 10 circles of phyllo sheet.
You will have a total of 10 circles, all buttered and stacked.
Spread 1/4 of the nuts over.
Top with another circle of phyllo sheet.
Butter it. Repeat 4 more times. You will have a total of 5 phyllo sheets, stacked and buttered.
Spread another 1/4 cup of nuts on top of the last buttered circle.
Top with another layer of 5 sheets, all buttered and stacked.
Spread another 1/4 cup of nuts on top. Followed by another set of 5 sheets buttered and stacked.
Spread the final amount of nuts over the top of the dough. Now top it with a layer of 10 sheets of phyllo, all buttered.
10 sheets of phyllo, 1/4 cup of nuts, 5 sheets of phyllo, 1/4 cup nuts, 5 sheets of phyllo, 1/4 cup nuts, 5 sheets of phyllo, 1/4 cup nuts, 10 sheets phyllo.
You will use all 40 sheets, but will have a lot of side trimmings, big ones, look at my recommendation above on what to do with those!
Now place this tray with the baklava in the freezer. Let it rest there until the butter becomes solid.
Remove from the freezer after about 30 minutes.
Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the baklava in 8 wedges, but don’t run the knife all the way down, stop before you reach the bottom layers, so this way you can easily move the baklava to the top of the cheesecake when it’s time.
Keep this cold until it’s time to use it. So if you have to make your cheesecake batter, place the baklava in the fridge so it stays sturdy.
Now it’s time to make the cheesecake.
Once your syrup has been already cooling down, the baklava is assembled and kept cold, and the crust is also resting in the freezer, then it’s time to start making the cheesecake.
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Cream on medium-high for 2 minutes, until very fluffy and smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides of the pan.
Add honey, mix until combined.
Add sour cream, mix until incorporated.
Now add egg and egg yolk.
Mix until completely incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl.
Add vanilla. Mix to combine.
Pour smooth batter over the cold crust lined springform pan.
Grab the baklava out of the fridge and place it on top of the cheesecake. Try to be gentle. If you have to, trim the sides of the baklava if it isn’t fitting.
Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour, maybe you will have to cover the crust sides with foil midway baking. If the top of the crust is browning too fast, you might want to create shields with aluminum foil and cover just the crust part, so it doesn’t burn. Make sure the crust is already baked before you place foil over it, or you might damage it.
Reduce temperature to 325F if the top is browning too fast.
Cheesecake will be ready between 60-80 minutes of baking. The baklava will have puffed up and will be golden and brown.
Remove from the oven. Let the cheesecake sit for 5 minutes.
Pour syrup over the top of the baklava.
Wait for some of the syrup to be absorbed before pouring more syrup in.
Take it slow.
The crust will be delicious in the bits that absorb this honey syrup. Gah you’re in for such a treat!
Let cheesecake cool down, and then place it in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours before serving.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Recipe adapted from : @ https://www.piesandtacos.com