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Baklava Cheesecake

32 ozs cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup clover honey
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh)
2 tsps vanilla
6 jumbo eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds, blanched
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon butter (unsalted), clarified
1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh)
1 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon cognac

Beat cream cheese in large bowl of electric mixer until light &
fluffy. Gradually mix in honey, then lemon juice & vanilla. Beat
in eggs 1 at a time until just incorporated. Set aside. Stir
through filling & pour into crust.

Cover filling with overhanging phyllo, squaring at edge of pan.

Bake until pastry is light brown and cake is firm to touch, about
50 mins.

Remove pan sides; using toothpick, poke 12 holes in top of cake to
allow steam to escape. Cool completely on rack. Refrigerate 2
days to mellow flavors, covering after first day.

Preheat oven to 350.

Cover baking sheet with 2 pieces of parchment.

Coarsely grind all nuts with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon
in processor. Stack 10 reserved phyllo pastry sheets on work
surface. Set rim of 10-inch springform pan atop pastry. Cut around
inside of rim through entire stack using sharp knife, making 10
rounds. Cover rounds with damp towel. Set pan rim on prepared
baking sheet.

Brush parchment and inside of pan rim with butter. Place one pastry
round in pan rim and brush with butter. Repeat with four more
rounds. Spread nut mixture evenly over pastry. Top with remaining
5 pastry rounds, brushing each with butter. Using ruler as guide,
cut pastry into 16 wedges (or however many pieces you want) with
sharp knife. Sprinkle lightly with water. Bake until crisp and
golden, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup sugar, water, and lemon juice in heavy
small saucepan over low heat, swirling pan occasionally until sugar
dissolves. Add cinnamon stick, increase heat to medium and boil
until syrupy, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. When bubbles
subside, add Cognac.

Flatten pastry atop cake. Remove pan rim from topping. Set topping
on cake, using large spatula. Re-cut wedges. Replace pan rim on
assembled cake. Immediately pour on hot syrup. Cool one hour.

Refrigerate one to 6 hours, preferably six hours. Let cake stand
at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.


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