Prep 20 mins
Cook 55 mins
Here is a dessert for Chanukah -- Festival of Lights. It was found in the 1998 publication, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. Preparation time does not include the time needed for the baked cake to chill & set.
FOR THE CRUST
- 12 phyllo pastry sheets
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 1⁄2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1⁄4 cup honey
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄3 cup pistachio nut, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup halvah, vanilla, coarsely chopped
FOR THE TOPPING
- 3 tablespoons honey, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 1⁄2 cup pistachio nut, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- FOR THE CRUST: Spread 1 sheet of phyllo lightly with melted butter & with it line a 10-inch springform pan, allowing the excess to overhang.
- Repeat the process with another 4 sheets of phyllo, pressing each one into the pan, starting at the center & allowing the excess to drape over the sides~ If the phyllo you use is smaller, overlap the sheets to create the same effect. Reserve the remaining sheets of phyllo for garnishing the top after baking.
- FOR THE FILLING: In a bowl, cream the cheese with the 4 whole eggs, the 1 yolk, vanilla, sesame oil, yogurt, honey, sugar & flour, & combine until smooth, then stir in the nuts & halvah.
- Pour into the prepared shell, trim the phyllo overhang to rest just on the rim of the pan, then bake about 45 minutes or until the cake is set.
- Meanwhile, cut the remaining phyllo sheets in quarters & brush them with butter.
- Remove the cake from the oven & increase the temperature to 400 degrees F, then arrainge the butteres filo sheets on top of the cake in an irregular patchwork, but covering the surface of the cake.
- Return the pan to the oven to brown the top phyllo, about 8-10 minutes, then remove & chill the cake until set.
- FOR THE TOPPING: When ready to serve, warm the honey & drizzle it over the cake, before topping that with the toasted sesame seeds & chopped pistachio nuts.