Recipe by evelyn/athens
Long instructions because of the detail, but it's really easy to do and a spectacular presentation. Creamy cheesecake filling held by a crisp, buttery, phyllo crust and topped with a baklava layer - fantastic! This must be made 2 days before serving.
Top Review by Lightly Toasted
Different storkes, I guess. This just wasn't much of a hit. The cheesecake just didn't taste "right" to us, for some reason. The "baklava" part was great, though, and the directions, are easy to follow because they are so detailed. My family recipe for baklava uses orange blossom water or rose water instead of brandy, so that was the only substitution that I made.
- 2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup greek thyme honey
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 1⁄3 cup butter, melted
- 1 lb phyllo pastry
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts
- 1⁄3 cup almonds, blanched
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon brandy (optional, but good)
Directions See How It's Made
- Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Beat cream cheese in large bowl of mixer until light and fluffy; gradually mix in honey, lemon juice and vanilla; on low speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating until each has been incorporated before adding next.
- Brush 10 inch springform pan generously with melted butter.
- Take 1 sheet of phyllo pastry with long end facing you (cover the remainder with a sheet of wax paper and a dampened kitchen towel) and brush half of sheet with melted butter; fold over unbuttered half to turn the rectangle into a square shape; brush top of phyllo with butter and place in springform pan, buttered side up, leaving a 5 inch overhang on one end; cover pan with a dampened towel; repeat with phyllo 4 more times (using 5 sheets); wrap remaining phyllo in plastic and refrigerate; stir through cheesecake filling and pour into crust; cover filling with pastry overhang; bake until pastry is light brown and cake is firm to the touch, about 50 minutes; let cool for 20 minutes and carefully remove pan sides and cool completely; refrigerate 2 days to mellow flavours (keep cake covered after the first day).
- For Topping: Preheat oven to 350F; cover baking sheet with 2 sheets of parchment; coarsely grind nuts with 1 tblsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.
- Stack 10 reserved phyllo pastry sheets on work surface; set rim of 10 inch springform pan atop pastry; cut around outside of rim through entire stack of phyllo, making 10 pastry rounds; cover with damp towel; set pan rim on prepared baking sheet; brush parchment and inside of pan rim with butter; place 1 pastry round in pan rim and brush with butter; repeat with 4 more rounds; spread nut mixture evenly over pastry; top with remaining 5 rounds, brushing each with butter; cut pastry into 16 wedges with sharp knife (this is important as phyllo bakes up very crisp and would shatter if you tried to cut it fully baked); sprinkle lightly with water; bake until crisp and golden, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1/3 cup sugar, water and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan over low heat, swirling pan occasionally until sugar dissolves; add cinnamon stick, increase heat and boil until syrupy, about 4 minutes; remove from heat; when bubbles subside, stir in brandy.
- Set baked pastry on cake, using a large spatula; recut wedges gently; replace pan rim on cake; pour hot syrup over; cool 1 hour; refrigerate for 1-6 hours; let cake stand at room temperature atleast 20 minutes before serving.
- Enjoy the fruit of your labours!