Pistachio Baklava Cheesecake is a delightful fusion of traditional Middle Eastern and Western desserts, showcasing a perfect balance of flavours and textures. It is an irresistible combination of flaky and crispy Baklava pastry layers, a creamy and rich cheesecake filling, and a sweet and aromatic sugar syrup. The crunchy layer of finely ground pistachios adds a unique texture and nutty flavour to the dessert, making it a treat for anyone who loves the taste of pistachios.
The recipe incorporates a variety of ingredients that work in perfect harmony to create a heavenly dessert. The filo pastry, known for its paper-thin and delicate layers, is coated with melted clarified butter, which provides a rich and buttery flavour to the dessert. The layer of pistachios is made with finely ground nuts, melted butter, and granulated sugar, delivering a distinct flavour and crunch to the dessert. The sugar syrup, prepared with honey, sugar, lemon juice, and orange blossom essence, adds a sweet and aromatic touch to the dessert.
The cheesecake batter is created by combining cream cheese, heavy cream, caster sugar, cornstarch, orange blossom essence, and eggs. The combination of cream cheese and heavy cream results in a rich and creamy texture, while the sugar and orange blossom essence provides a sweet and floral flavour. The eggs act as a binder and create a smooth and consistent texture.
In summary, this Pistachio Baklava Cheesecake is a perfect combination of sweet and savoury, creamy and crunchy, and provides a unique blend of flavours and textures. It is a dessert that will surely impress your guests or satisfy your sweet tooth cravings.
Basic Ingredients for Pistachio Baklava Cheesecake
- Filo Pastry: Filo pastry is a paper-thin pastry that is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It is made by layering thin sheets of pastry dough with melted butter or oil and is used to make a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. In this recipe, the filo pastry layers are coated in melted clarified butter, which gives them a rich and buttery flavour and helps them become crispy when baked.
- Pistachios: Pistachios are a type of nut that is native to the Middle East and are a common ingredient in Middle Eastern desserts. They have a distinct flavour and a crunchy texture and are high in protein and healthy fats. In this recipe, the pistachios are finely ground and used to create a layer of texture and flavour in the cheesecake.
- Clarified Butter: Unsalted butter is used in this recipe to coat the filo pastry layers and to make the Pistachio layer. It adds a rich and buttery flavour to the dessert and helps the pastry layers become crispy when baked.
- Sugar: Both granulated sugar and honey are used to make the sugar syrup that is poured over the cheesecake. They add sweetness and help to balance the flavours of the dessert.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is added to the sugar syrup to add a tangy and citrusy flavour to the dessert. It also helps to balance the sweetness of the sugar and honey.
- Orange Blossom Essence: Orange blossom essence is a flavouring agent that is commonly used in Middle Eastern desserts. It adds a sweet and floral flavour to the cheesecake and helps to enhance the overall flavour of the dessert.
- Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is a type of soft cheese that is commonly used in cheesecake recipes. It has a mild and slightly tangy flavour and is high in fat and protein. In this recipe, it is used to create a creamy and rich filling for the cheesecake.
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is a type of cream that has a high-fat content and is commonly used in baking. It adds richness and creaminess to the cheesecake filling.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a fine powder that is commonly used as a thickening agent in baking. In this recipe, it helps to create a smooth and consistent texture for the cheesecake filling.
- Eggs: Eggs are used in this recipe to help bind the ingredients together and create a smooth and consistent texture for the cheesecake filling. They also help to add structure and stability to the cheesecake.
- Filo Pastry: If you can’t find filo pastry, you could use phyllo dough as a substitute. Both filo and phyllo are paper-thin pastries made with flour and water, but phyllo dough is usually slightly thicker than filo pastry. Alternatively, you could use puff pastry or pie crust dough as a substitute, although the texture and flavour of the dessert may be slightly different.
- Pistachios: If you’re not a fan of pistachios, you could use another type of nut in the Pistachio layer. Almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts would all be good choices. You could also omit the nuts altogether and use a layer of crushed cookies or graham crackers instead.
- Orange Blossom Essence: If you can’t find orange blossom essence, you could use another type of flavoured extract, such as almond, vanilla, or rosewater. You could also use the zest of an orange or lemon to add a citrusy flavour to the cheesecake.
- Cream Cheese: If you’re looking for a dairy-free or vegan option, you could use a vegan cream cheese substitute made with cashews or tofu. You could also use a combination of Greek yoghurt and ricotta cheese to create a similar texture and flavour.
- Heavy Cream: If you can’t find heavy cream, you could use whipping cream, half-and-half, or a non-dairy alternative such as coconut cream or almond milk.
- Cornstarch: If you don’t have cornstarch, you could use tapioca starch, potato starch, or arrowroot powder as a thickening agent for the cheesecake filling.
- Eggs: If you’re vegan or allergic to eggs, you could use a flaxseed or chia seed egg substitute to help bind the ingredients together. To make a flaxseed egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for a few minutes until it forms a gel. To make a chia seed egg, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for a few minutes until it forms a gel.
PREPARATION TIPS for Pistachio Baklava Cheesecake
- Bring Ingredients to Room Temperature: Make sure to take the cream cheese, heavy cream, and eggs out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you begin baking. Room-temperature ingredients will mix together more easily and create a smoother texture in the cheesecake batter.
- Be Gentle When Mixing: When making the cheesecake batter, avoid over-mixing as it can introduce too much air into the batter and cause the cheesecake to crack. Use a spatula to fold in the ingredients until they are just combined gently.
- Press Filo Layers Firmly: When layering the filo pastry in the pan, make sure to press each layer firmly into the pan to remove any air bubbles and create a smooth and even surface.
- Cool the Cheesecake Gradually: After baking the cheesecake, turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar. This will allow the cheesecake to cool gradually and prevent it from cracking.
- Pour the Syrup Carefully: When pouring the sugar syrup over the cheesecake, make sure to pour it slowly and evenly over the surface. This will ensure that the syrup is absorbed evenly and doesn’t create pockets of liquid in the cheesecake.
- Chill the Cheesecake Overnight: For best results, chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. This will allow the flavours to meld together and create a firm and creamy texture in the cheesecake.
- Garnish with Ground Pistachios: Before serving, garnish the cheesecake with a sprinkle of ground pistachios. This will add an extra layer of flavour and texture to the dessert.
SERVING TIPS for Pistachio Baklava Cheesecake
- Drizzle with Chocolate: For a decadent twist, you can drizzle some melted chocolate over the top of the cheesecake. This will add a rich and luxurious flavour to the dessert and make it feel extra special.
- Pair with Coffee or Tea: Pistachio Baklava Cheesecake pairs well with coffee or tea, so consider serving it alongside your favourite hot beverage. This will help to balance out the sweetness of the dessert and make it feel like a cosy and comforting treat.
- Refrigerate: After the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight, to allow it to set.
- Store in an Airtight Container: Once the cheesecake has been set, transfer it to an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. This will help to prevent it from drying out and absorbing any odours from other foods in the refrigerator.
- Consume within 3-4 Days: Pistachio Baklava Cheesecake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. After that time, it may start to lose its flavour and texture.
Pistachio Baklava Cheesecake
For the layers of Baklava
- 12-15 layers of filo
- 3 tbsp clarified butter, melted
For the Pistachio Layer
- 200 g finely groundpistachios + extra 2 tbsp for garnish
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
For the Cheesecake Batter
- 600 g cream cheese, roomtemperature
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp orange blossom essence
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Sugar Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup honey
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp orange blossom essence
- Preheat the oven to180 degrees Celsius. Grease the sides and base of an 8-inch springform pan withbutter and line the base with parchment paper.
- To make the layers of Baklava,separately coat 8 layers of filo pastry with melted clarified butter andalternately layer them in the pan. Cut down the edges and bake in the oven for15 minutes or until golden brown.
- To make the Pistachio layer, mix together the ground pistachios, melted butter, and sugar in a smallbowl until thoroughly combined.
- To prepare the Sugar Syrup,combine the sugar, honey, lemon juice, and water in a medium saucepan. Bring toa boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce theheat to medium-low and let it boil for an additional 5 to 10 minutes withoutstirring. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- To make the cheesecake batter,combine cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with a spatula. Add the heavycream and mix until the mixture is smooth. Add the orange blossom essence andmix until well combined. Add the cornstarch and mix well until thoroughlycombined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition untilthoroughly combined and smooth.
- Gently spread 3/4 of thePistachio mixture on the base over the slightly cooled baked filo base. Withthe bottom of a glass, gently press down until compact. Pour the cheesecakefilling over the Pistachio layer. Coat a sheet of filo paper with butter, foldit in half and place it over the cheese filling. Add the rest of the Pistachiomixture.
- Finally, separately coat 3 to 4 filo papers, crimple them together lengthwise and gently place them over thetop layer of the Pistachio layer in a circular direction from the outside tothe inside.
- Bake for 55 to 60minutes, until the sides are set and the top is golden brown. Turn off theoven, keep the oven door ajar, and allow the cheesecake to cool to roomtemperature inside the range. Remove from the oven and gently spoon the SugarSyrup over the Baklava cheesecake. Allow it to cool down to room temperature,and then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight, untilit sets. Garnish with ground pistachio and serve.