BAKLAVA CHEESECAKE

As you are more than aware from my posts on this website, I love cheesecake. My inspiration for this one came from growing up in Greece and my mom making deliciously crispy baklava. The addition of pomegranate seeds add a burst of refreshing tartness to the sweet baklava. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Rest/cooling Time: 4 Hours

Ingredients:

4 packages of cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups of sugar

5 eggs at room temperature

¾ cups of sour cream at room temperature

¼ cup of heavy cream at room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons of vanilla extract

1 stick of butter, melted

1 cup of pecans

1 cup of hazelnuts

1 cup of pistachios

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

14-16 sheets of phyllo dough

Pomegranate seeds for garnishing

Instructions:

For the crust:

  • Using a brush, spread some butter across the bottom of a springform pan
  • Fold 1 sheet of phyllo dough in the pan, pressing phyllo onto bottom and up sides of pan; brush with butter. Layer with remaining phyllo sheets, brushing each layer and rotating sheets slightly. It should begin like a crown forming around the pan. Trim the excess phyllo pointing up and out
  • In a food processor, blend the nuts and butter, until they form a moldable mixture
  • Pour the mixture in the pan, and using your hand spread it evenly across the phyllo dough, patting it down and pressing it against the sides of the pan very carefully not to rip the dough. Press the raised mixture around the side of pan so you can mold a “crust wall.” Let the crust sit in the fridge until the filling is ready
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

For the filling:

  1. Add the cream cheese and the sugar into a mixer and blend until a smooth mixture forms
  2. Add the vanilla and mix again
  3. Using a slow setting of the mixer, add the eggs one by one into the cream cheese mixture and blend
  4. Add the sour cream and heavy cream and mix
  5. Pour the mixture into the crust

For the baking/serving:

  • We are going to do a water bath while baking
  • Cover the springform pan in aluminum foil so water does not enter it. DO NOT cover the top of the cheesecake. Simply cover the sides slightly so that there is no water leaking in, about halfway up the pan.
  • In a roasting pan add 1 inch of hot water or until the water comes up halfway up the side of the springform pan
  • Add the covered springform pan into the roasting pan carefully.
  • Place the pans in the oven and bake until the cheesecake is in the center but still has a slight jiggle when moved. About an hour and fifteen to an hour and a half
  • Let the cheesecake cool and rest for 3 hours
  • While it’s cooling, make the topping. Chop ½ cup of each of the nuts into a coarser mixture. Toast the nuts for 30 secs in a pan and shut off heat
  • In a small pot, add ½ cup sugar and 1 cup and water, 1 stick of cinnamon and a few dried rose petals. Bring to a high heat so the sugar dissolves and the water thickens. If the water is too thin, add more sugar. If the syrup is too thick, slowly add more water. You want a light thick consistency so the nuts are coated.
  • Pour over the nuts, making sure the cinnamon stick and rose buds do not pour over. Mix. Let the topping cool and pour it over the cheesecake
  • Place in the fridge for 1 hour
  • Top with the pomegranate seeds
  • Serve and enjoy!