Berry Cheesecake Baklava
For the syrup
For the cream cheese filling
(8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
(16 ounce) package phyllo dough
cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks), melted
cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
fresh berries, to garnish
- Thaw your phyllo dough according to package directions.
- Make the syrup. In a small saucepan combine water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup honey. Stir over high heat until the sugar is dissolved, it should only take a couple minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool.
- Make the filling. In a bowl or stand mixer beat the cream cheese until it it smooth. Then add the egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter. Use a pastry brush to butter a 9x13 inch pan.*
- Open the package of phyllo dough. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the entire stack of phyllo dough in half (not lengthwise). Cover with a damp cloth to avoid drying it out.
- Layer 2 sheets of the cut phyllo dough in the prepared pan. Brush with butter. Repeat 3 times. (2 sheets, butter, 2 sheets, butter, etc.) Stop when you have 8 sheets total.
- Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup berries.
- Layer on 2 more sheets, brush with butter, then 2 more sheets and butter.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 three more times.
- Continue layering sheets, buttering every 2nd one, until you have at least 8-10 on top of the most recent cream cheese layer. You may have a few leftover sheets.
- To sum up: You should have 4 layers of cream cheese with 4 sheets in between each one. The bottom layer should have 8 sheets and the top should have at least 8-10. (You may have a few leftover). Brush every 2 sheets with butter.
- Use a sharp serrated knife to slice the baklava into squares or diamonds, but don't push the knife all the way to the bottom of the pan. Leave at least a half inch on the bottom uncut. (That way the syrup doesn't seep all the way through.)
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 60-65 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Immediately drizzle the cooled syrup over the hot baklava, making sure to get the edges. Let cool to room temperature.
- Serve with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey. You can serve this at room temperature or chilled. I like it both ways. Store in the fridge, uncovered. If you cover it, the phyllo becomes soggy.
by The Food Charlatan