This is a cheesecake with a heavy middle eastern influence: pistachio baklava cheesecake! A pistachio shortbread crust, filled with honey cheesecake, topped with baklava, and baked to perfection. With honey cheesecake on the bottom and baklava on top, this is really the best of both worlds.
You’ve heard of cheesecake. You might have heard of baklava, that delicious layered pastry dessert from the Ottoman empire. This recipe combines both, resulting in a dessert that is both creamy and flaky, with a crispy honey sweetness that is absolutely delicious.
You will totally wow any guests who get to try your awesome baklava cheesecake. With a glistening honey syrup, crunchy pistachios, and creamy cheesecake, there’s a lot to love about this baklava cheesecake recipe.
Ingredients For Shortbread Crust
You will need pistachios, flour, powdered sugar, butter and salt to make this pistachio shortbread crust.
How To Make Shortbread Crust For Cheesecake
The first thing to do is make our crunchy crust. This recipe calls for pistachios, but you can use other nuts if you like.
- Place the softened butter into the bowl of your stand mixer with flat beater attachment, beat until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Then, increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute.
- Add salt, flour and chopped pistachios and mix on low speed until just the dough comes together. It is important not to over mix!
- Form the crust of the cheesecake inside the prepared pan. Start pressing on the bottom and up the sides of your lightly greased springform pan. One little bit at a time, add pieces of dough, patching gently as you gently press down on the dough and evenly distribute it along the bottom and up the sides.
You can make the rest of the cheesecake while the dough chills in the freezer.
Ingredients For Pistachio Baklava
- Melted butter
- Chopped Pistachios
- Filo (phyllo) pastry
How To Make Pistachio Baklava
Now for the fun part! We’re going to make the baklava.
First, cut your phyllo pastry sheets to the same diameter as the inside of the crust. This is typically one to two inches less than the diameter of your springform pan.
You’re going to go through about 26 phyllo pastry sheets, but you’re going to have plenty of leftovers from the side trimmings. You can use the leftover pastry for other recipes if you like.
The layers of phyllo pastry circles have a pretty strict order, as follows
- 6 layers of filo dough
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 5 layers of dough
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 5 layers of dough
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 10 layers of filo dough
You should brush each circle with melted butter before you add the next on top. Refrigerate your baklava before you try cutting it, or putting it on your cheesecake.
Ingredients For Cheesecake Filling
- Philadelphia cream cheese
- Sour cream
- Eggs+egg yolk
How To Make Cheesecake Filling
- In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese with honey on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add the sour cream and salt, beat until completely incorporated.
- Remove the cake pan with the cheesecake crust from the freezer. Pour the filling into the pan, then carefully place the frozen baklava on top. If the baklava won't fit inside the cheesecake base, carefully trim the edges with a sharp knife.
- Bake the cheesecake for 60-80 minutes at 345°F |175 °C.
Lets's make our honey syrup. It’s easy to make, and it’s a key part of the recipe. We’ll be pouring the syrup over the baked cheesecake, over the baklava. It will need to cool to room temperature before we pour it over the hot baklava cheesecake, and making it first and then setting the syrup aside is the perfect way to do this.
Baklava Cheesecake Tips
We’ve put together some handy tips for you to get the best out of this cheesecake every time.
- You can use any nuts you want. Sweeter nuts like walnuts and almonds are usually best for desserts.
- Always brush each circle of phyllo (filo) pastry before you place the next one on top of it.
- Brushing does not mean drowning! Don’t overwhelm the pastry. Just enough butter to spread a thin layer is the perfect amount for this recipe.
- Keep your shortbread crust refrigerated or in the freezer before baking. Do the same thing with your baklava. Keeping these cold until it’s time to bake is critical for getting the right taste and texture out of this baklava cheesecake.
- We recommend baking this cheesecake for about an hour, but you should check it constantly, ensuring that it isn’t browning too quickly. Cover your crust with foil if it looks like it will overcook.
- Let each drizzle of your delicious honey syrup soak in fully before you add more.
- Don’t add hot syrup to the cheesecake! Room temperature syrup is best for this.
Let your cheesecake cool once you’ve removed it from the oven. About five minutes should be long enough.
Remember our honey syrup? Now you’re going to pour the honey syrup over the cheesecake. Be sure to drizzle it slowly, allowing a small amount of the syrup to absorb into the baklava before you pour a little more.
Now, allow the baklava cheesecake to absorb all the syrup you’ve poured onto it, and let it cool down to room temperature before placing it in the fridge overnight.
Some of the syrup will inevitably soak into the crust, and if you’ve done this recipe right, you will have deliciously flaky syrup-infused shortbread crust. What a treat!
You can decorate the top of your cheesecake by processing pistachios in the food processor and topping the cheesecake with them. Add some sliced pecans for an extra touch.
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