Kanafeh Cheesecake with Plums and Rosewater Syrup. This traditional dessert is sure to be a crowdpleaser.
375g packet Kataifi pastry
250g butter, melted
250g cream cheese, softened
250g mascarpone cheese
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup caster sugar, plus extra 2 cups
1/2 cup pistachios, toasted, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp rose water (or to taste)
8 red-fleshed plums, quartered
Whipped cream, to serve (optional)
Grease and line base and sides of a 22cm round cake tin (Don’t use a springform pan as syrup will leak out and not soak into pastry).
Preheat oven to 180°C fan‑forced. In a large bowl, gently break apart pastry to loosen strands. Pour over melted butter then use clean hands to gently mix to coat. Place cream cheese, mascarpone, egg, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium, using paddle attachment, for 2-3 minutes or until well combined and fluffy.
Spread ½ of the pastry over base of prepared tin, sprinkle with ½ of the pistachios, spread cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining pistachios. Cover with remaining pastry. Press down slightly. Bake in middle of oven for 40 minutes or until golden.
To make syrup, place extra sugar and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Stir over a low heat to dissolve sugar, then bring to a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly. Pour in lemon juice and rosewater (2 teaspoons for a light hint, or add according to taste). Drizzle 1 cup of the hot syrup over cheesecake and set aside to soak up and cool.
Place remaining syrup and plums in a medium saucepan. Gently poach for 2-3 minutes or until plums have softened and syrup has turned slightly pink.
To serve, slice cheesecake with a serrated knife, drizzle with plum syrup and dollop with whipped cream, if using.