Cook Time 1.5 hours
1 cup water
¼ tsp of cinnamon
70g blanched almonds
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp clove powder
Pinch of salt
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g Greek yoghurt
100g melted or clarified butter
10-14 sheets fillo
A large handful of kataifi pastry
½ cup crushed pistachios
2 tsp dried rose petals
Bring all ingredients together in a medium saucepan for 25 minutes until thick and syrupy. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 160°C.
Spread nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 5-8 minutes in the oven. Let them cool, then chop them up roughly with a knife or in a food processor. Transfer nuts to a bowl and add ½ of the syrup, salt, clove powder and cinnamon. Stir and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, caster sugar, lemon zest and vanilla, followed by the eggs one at a time. Stir through the Greek yoghurt and set aside.
Preheat oven to 160°C. Release the collar from an 18cm or 20cm springform pan. Tear off a sheet of baking paper and place over the base, then reattach the collar, allowing the baking paper to stick out the bottom edges.
Place fillo sheets on a clean surface and cover with a damp cloth. Take one sheet, brush with butter and lay the sheet inside the pan, buttered-side down, pushing into the sides and allowing one end of the pastry to overhang the top edge of the springform pan. Repeat process with until the bottom of the pan is completely covered by about 8-10 sheets of fillo.
Pour ½ of the cheesecake batter into the prepared tin lined with fillo. Using a spoon, place drops of the nut filling on top of the cheesecake batter. Repeat with the remaining cheesecake batter and half of the remaining nut filling. Fold the overhanging fillo edges onto the cheesecake to cover. If the batter is still exposed on top, scrunch up a sheet of fillo and place on top. Brush with melted butter and bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until golden on top and set in the centre.
Sprinkle the kataifi pastry on top and brush with butter. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until golden on top.
While the cheesecake is still warm, pour over the remaining cooled syrup and top with crushed pistachios and rose petals. Leave to cool completely in the springform tin to set before serving.