Could there be a better way to usher in a new beginning, than with cheesecake? That too, a Baklava Cheesecake? I think not.
I’ve adapted this recipe from the amazing Amanda of Amada’s Plate. The original recipe gives the option of making a pomegranate reduction to serve alongside the cheesecake. I didn’t make it because I didn’t have the ingredients required, but it’s definitely something worth checking out, so be sure to head on over to her space to see for yourself.
I’ve made this a handful of times, and other than the baklava topping, the cheesecake is super easy to throw together. And to be honest, even the baklava topping isn’t difficult; it just requires patience.
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 pounds (four 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon rose water or orange blossom water
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 sheets phyllo dough, thawed and kept covered with a damp paper towel
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased 9-inch springform pan. Fill a roasting pan with boiling water and place inside the oven on the lowest rack. This will create steam in the oven, which will help prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
In a bowl, stir together all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth over medium low speed. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing completely after each addition. Reduce speed to low, and add all-purpose flour, rose water, cardamom, and salt, and mix until combined. Pour the batter over the crust and set aside.
In a small saucepan, mix sugar, water, and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar has completely melted. Set aside.
Prepare Baklava Topping
In the bowl of a food processor, combine walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Blitz until finely ground. Set aside.
Cut phyllo dough into 9-inch circles. Cover with a damp paper towel and set aside.
Use a cutting board as your work surface, and place one phyllo sheet on it. Brush with melted butter, and repeat until you have a stack of 6 sheets. Spread the walnut filling over the stack of phyllo. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with melted butter. Repeat with remaining sheets.
Using a sharp knife, gently score the baklava topping (don’t cut through the entire stack; just the top few sheets is necessary). Cut like you would a pizza. Gently transfer the topping to the top and center of the cheesecake.
Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake until center is set, about 55 minutes. Cool in the oven with the door ajar, for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pour the syrup over the top of the cheesecake. Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.