BEST AND DELICIOUS BAKLAVA CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup clover honey
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
Phyllo Pastry Crust:
  • 8 phyllo pastry sheets (Filo Dough) 12×17 inches
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, clarified
Phyllo and Nut Topping:
  • ½ cup walnuts, fine to coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup blanched almonds, fine to coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 10 phyllo pastry sheets (Filo Dough)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, clarified
Syrup:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2 to 3 inches in length
  • 1 tablespoon cognac or other brandy

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 10 inch round cheesecake pan or springform pan with 3-inch sides; use a pastry brush to lightly butter the pan with some of the clarified butter to be used in the Phyllo Pastry Crust.
Filling:
  1. In a large bowl, add the cream cheese; mix on medium low speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the honey, lemon juice, and vanilla extract; continue beating on medium low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add eggs, two at a time, beating after each addition; Tip: crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the cheese mixture. Tip: Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Blend the ingredients quickly to add as few air bubbles as possible. The ingredients must be well blended, but excessive beating creates too many air pockets which can cause the cheesecake to puff up too much during baking, and then crack during the cooling process.
  4. Let the filling rest while preparing the pastry to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface …

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