Knafeh Cheesecake

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1Made this recipe

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes


8 ounces katafi dough (shredded filo), finely chopped

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese

5 cardamom pods, ground

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

2 1/2 ounces rose water

2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios

1 tablespoon dried food-grade rose petals (optional)


01Heat oven to 325 F.
02In a large bowl, toss chopped katafi dough with 3 tablespoons of sugar, butter, and salt.
03Butter an 8-inch springform pan, then press three-quarters of the katafi dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
04On a separate buttered sheet pan, spread remaining katafi dough, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, and reserve.
05Using an electric mixer, blend cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, ground cardamom, and vanilla extract until smooth.
06Add eggs, one at a time, stirring to completely incorporate.
07Pour cheesecake over crust and bake for approximately 55 minutes (just until set). Allow to cool completely.
08In a small saucepan, heat remaining sugar and rose water to a simmer and reserve.
09Remove cheesecake from springform pan and pile remaining katafi dough on top of cheesecake.
10Sprinkle ground pistachio and dried rose petals, if using, over cheesecake.
11While serving, drizzle each slice of cheesecake with rose syrup to finish.

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Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Wait until the pan is hot and the butter has fully melted.