I am about to blow your mind, are you ready? This recipe is super easy and sure to please. I have to thank my friend Norman for posting a picture of this on Facebook. He had it at a pizza joint in Baltimore, and it got my gears going! Baklava Cheesecake?! Hello?!!! Why haven’t I made this yet? So I thought…I know how to make a good cheesecake, and I know how to make a good baklava…BRING IT! I didn’t have everything in my pantry, so I modified the baklava part, but if you’re lucky I’ll give you my baklava recipe sometime.
I encourage you to tweak the recipe if you want. I tried to give you measurements this time, but I really eye balled everything and I’m not too sure how much. I just kind of think…yea I love to taste cinnamon in the crust, let’s add a little more! I go a lot off what it smells like once I mix it, or I try some.
Another thing I changed is the cheesecake part – I just halved the recipe that I normally use. I didn’t want to make such a thick cheesecake. You could do either!
Here is what you will need:
graham crackers, finely crumbled
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Few Tablespoons butter, softened
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
15 sheets Athens 9 x 14 Fillo Dough, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup light corn syrup, heated
Preheat your oven to 325.
First you want to take your graham crackers and mash them up, mix in the sugar, cinnamon, and butter.
Then take a fork or your fingers and press the crumbs on the bottom and up the sides of 9″ springform pan. Bake it for about 8 minutes so that it sets.
To prepare the cheesecake, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add lemon juice, vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Beat until smooth. Pour into springform pan over your crust.
To prepare baklava, combine walnuts, sugar, butter and cinnamon in bowl.
So for the fun part! You could cut the pastry so that it fits exactly over your baking pan perfectly or your could just fold it and make it fit as a rectangle. I chose the latter because it’s easier and creates no waste!
Take your fillo sheets and you can do this one at a time or you can take like 5 at a time. Lay it on the cheesecake filling and brush it with butter.
Once you have a few down spread the walnut mixture over the top.
Keep doing that for as long as you like. I did about three layers. This doesn’t have to be exact or beautiful. Just slap it down, really. When you do the final layer of fillo, make sure you score the slices, this will make it much easier to cut once it’s baked. To make it look pretty just ruffle up the top sheet, it will fold a little during baking so just leave it messy, it’ll look good, don’t worry. Now brush an ample amount of butter over the top of it.
Also notice how I lined the bottom of my springform with foil. That’s because I always put water in the cookie sheet to create moisture in the oven so the top of the cheesecake doesn’t crack and dry out. I don’t want the water to seep into the pan for any reason so I just protect it this way.
Now bake it for an hour and a half or longer, just make sure the top is golden brown. It took mine about an hour and 50 minutes. Just start looking at it after an hour and keep an eye on it. Every oven is different!
Slowly spoon warm syrup over that bad boy and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled before slicing.
I skipped the syrup this time, and we ate it at room temperature. Oh well. Maybe after it’s chilled in the fridge I’ll pour some syrup over the top.