Baklava Cheesecake

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RECIPE: The filo pastry I made for my Spanakopita was a large enough quantity to make two things, so a dessert it was. I thought of making baklava but I usually find it too sweet and in searching online for baklava recipes I happened upon this cheesecake. Perfect. I followed the recipe except fresh cranberries are hard to find in Australia so I used fresh cherries, which are happily in season. I piped on whipped cream that had two teaspoons of honey blended in.

COMPONENTS: Making the filo pastry is covered in my Spanakopita post. Making the cheesecake mix didn’t have any traps, but make sure not to cook the cheesecake too long. The cheesecake should be a bit like jelly in the middle when you pull it out of the oven, otherwise it will crack once it cools (easily filled with cream). I painted the cherries with corn syrup and then dusted with sugar, but it’s very humid here in summer and they didn’t look great. Just wet and sticky and too sweet anyway. Instead I just put the fresh cherries on the cake and dusted with confectioners sugar just before serving.

ASSEMBLY: My filo sheets were smaller and kind of a square shape so I draped it over my springform tin as best I could, trying to keep it fairly even. The edges hung over the top edge by about 2.5cm/1 inch. This was cut off once the cheesecake had cooled overnight, using a sharp knife and cutting it gently against the top of the tin without any pastry flakes landing on the cheesecake. I didn’t cool the pastry case after I did the first bake with the nuts. I gently poured the cheesecake mix so it didn’t disturb the nut layer. After baking I piped on the whipped cream and then topped with the cherries, dusting with sugar.

IMPRESSION: This delicious, just rich enough cheesecake is something I could keep on eating for days. I added a few too many layers of filo pastry, which made it a bit hard to get a spoon through, but it wasn’t noticeable when you were eating it and it provided great structure for the cheesecake – it was totally self-supporting!  The creamy cheesecake filling was to die for and even though I don’t like walnuts, I liked the walnut layer at the bottom. Fresh cherries were a very good alternative to fresh cranberries 🙂

Recipe from Taste of Home

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