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Berry Cheesecake Baklava

Ingredients

For the syrup

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cream cheese filling

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

To assemble

  • 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks), melted
  • 2 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
  • fresh berries, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Thaw your phyllo dough according to package directions.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In a small bowl, melt the butter. Use a pastry brush to butter a 9x13 inch pan.*
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup berries.
  8. Layer on 2 more sheets, brush with butter, then 2 more sheets and butter.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 three more times.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.)
  13. Bake at 325 degrees F for 60-65 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  14. Immediately drizzle the cooled syrup over the hot baklava, making sure to get the edges. Let cool to room temperature.
  15. 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.

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