Wish Upon A Dish: Baklava Cheesecake

January 6, 2013

Baklava Cheesecake

My niece asked me if I had ever had Baklava. While it was always something I bookmarked (I bought rose water in anticipation), I really had no idea what it tasted like but I told her I imagined it was nutty, crunchy, honey sweetly sticky.
She said "Oh, boy!! Sounds yummy".

I did the only thing a good aunt would do, I told her for Christmas she will have her Baklava.
Since not everyone can eat a whole pan of baklava, when I found this recipe over at the Food Network, I had a recipe she & I could live with.

One box of filo cups consists of 15 shells and the recipe was written for two boxes, I halved the ingredients and got to work.
They were certainly exactly what I told her and she just smiled and said "Thanks, Aunt Sue".
Because I am a huge cheesecake baker, there is always a minimum of 4 bricks of low fat cream cheese in my fridge. They have a long shelf life so since I make tend to be a bad girl and bake 1 cheesecake a month, I had no excuse but to use the leftover filling on, you guessed it, a cheesecake.

One recipe on the Internet looked promising except for the filo crust. When something has to bake for an hour, tender parts will brown quickly (let's face it I was afraid I would burn the damn thing).
What I did do is make a crust from the crushed nuts in the recipe, along with honey and butter to bind. It was perfect, no, better than perfect. It was a crust to remember and I would be using that recipe again, and soon.

I sent a nice piece to work for my taste tester/single guy who doesn't cook person to let me know what he thought.
The Nudge said he asked the plant guys to get the forklift and get it into his car.....(he's such a smart-ass). Fred said he had three bites and went to bed (it seems the smart-ass doesn't fall far from the cubicle).

I thought it delicious and pegged it as remarkable re-makable.

If you want to wow someone with a very unique cheesecake, make this version. You will be happy my niece wanted to taste baklava.

Baklava Cheesecake
makes (1) 9" cheesecake

* 4 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
* 5 tablespoons almond flour
* 2 tablespoons hazelnut flour
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 2 tablespoons butter or sub

With a fork, mix everything in a bowl until well blended. With a spoon, spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of a 9" spring form pan.

* 18 ounces low fat cream cheese, room temperature
* 11 ounces Greek yogurt
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 3 eggs, room temperature
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using a mixer, blender or processor, blend until creamy and smooth.

Nut Mixture:
* 1/4 cup pistachios
* 1/2 cup walnuts
* 1/2 cup almonds
* 1/2 lemon, zested
* 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Arrange the pistachios, walnuts, and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven (350°) until golden and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let nuts cool slightly and add to a food processor along with the lemon zest, sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla and pulse to combine.

1. Bake the crust for 11 minutes in a 325°. Remove and cool while you prepare the nuts and filling. Lower the oven to 300°.
2. Pour the filling over the crust and sprinkle the nuts on the top of the filling.
3. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Remove and allow to cool completely then refrigerate for 8 hours, minimum 5 hours.

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