This is a cheesecake with a heavy middle eastern/Mediterranean influence: pistachio baklava cheesecake! A pistachio shortbread crust, filled with honey cheesecake, topped with baklava, and baked to perfection.
Pistachio Shortbread Crust
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (95 grams) powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (120 grams) chopped pistachios
- 14 oz ( 400 grams) store-bought filo(phyllo) dough
- 1 cup (120 grams) finely chopped pistachios
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) butter, melted and cooled
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) white sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) water
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) honey
- 24 ounces (675 grams) cream cheese
- 1/3 cup (125 grams) honey
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream, 15-20% fat
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Pistachio Shortbread Crust
- Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20 cm) pan with foil, and grease the walls with coconut oil or butter. Keep aside.
- Place the 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, pressing the dough in small portions first to the walls and then to the bottom. Put in the freezer for at least 30-40 minutes. Do the crust a little bit at a time. Grab a little bit of dough and press it down the sides. Then grab another bit and keep patching it up, pressing it down with fingers. Make sure that the layer of the dough in all places has the same thickness – about 1 cm.
- Melt the butter in the microwave and let it cool down. Using an 8-inch cake ring to measure the circle and a sharp knife, cut 26 circles out of the filo dough.
- Place the first circle of the filo dough on a cutting board and brush the dough with a thin layer of melted butter. You will need about 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) butter for one circle. Place the second circle on top of the first and press down lightly. Repeat the process until there are 6 layers of filo dough in the stack. Brush the 6th circle of filo dough with melted butter and then spread 1/4 cup (30 grams) of chopped pistachios. Cover with 7th layer of the dough, brush with butter and repeat 4 more times. You will have 5 more layers of dough after the pistachios, stacked and buttered. The seventh circle of dough can be lightly brushed with butter on both sides so that it stuck better to the layer of chopped pistachios.
- Spread 1/4 cup (30 grams) of pistachios on top of 11th layer, top with another layer of 5 sheets, all buttered and stacked.
- Finally, spread the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts, top with 10 more layers of dough after the pistachios, stacked and buttered. In total, you should have: 6 layers of filo dough / 1/4 cup pistachios / 5 layers of dough / 1/4 cup pistachios / 5 layers of dough /1/4 cup pistachios / 10 layers of filo dough.
- Cover the baklava with plastic and place in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes to allow the butter to become solid and the layers of dough to stick together.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the baklava in 8 triangles, but don’t run the knife all the way down. Stop before you reach the bottom layers, so this way you can easily move the baklava to the top of the cheesecake when it’s time.
- Place all ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it boils, reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.
Honey Cream Cheese 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 base 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. You may need to cover the baklava with foil while baking. Reduce temperature to 320°F| 160 °C if top browns too quickly. At the end of baking, the baklava should become golden brown. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool down for about 5 minutes.
- Pour half of the honey syrup over the baklava. Wait until the syrup is completely absorbed before pouring the remaining syrup.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool down completely, then refrigerate for at least 6-7 hours before serving.
- Remove the cheesecake from the pan.
You can use any nuts you want. Sweeter nuts like walnuts and almonds are usually best for desserts.
Always brush each circle of phyllo 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.
- Prep Time: 1 h 20 min
- Cook Time: 60 min
- Category: Cheesecake recipes
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 1124kcal
- Sugar: 41g
- Sodium: 608mg
- Fat: 60g
- Saturated Fat: 31g
- Carbohydrates: 75g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 20g
- Cholesterol: 227mg
Keywords: baklava cheesecake, pistachio cheesecake, cheesecake recipe