Kunafa pastry and rose water cheesecake

An beautiful cheesecake with a Middle Eastern flavour

  • place PRE 15 minutes
  • place COOK 1 hour
  • place SERVES 10 - 12
  • printicon

Recipe adapted from: The Modern Jewish Pantry by Georgie Tarn and Tracey Fine, Skyhorse Publishing 
Food styled by Mandy Thompson

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°c.
  • Place sugar, 200ml water and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer on a low light for approximately 10 minutes or until the liquid has become a syrup. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
  • When the syrup has cooled add the rose water then set aside to be used later.
  • Melt the butter and use a little to grease a 28cm spring form tin
  • In a large bowl break apart the kunafa pastry until all the shreds are loose.
  • Mix the butter in, using your hands, so all the pastry is well coated.
  • Beat together the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, egg yolks and caster sugar until smooth.
  • Take the greased 28cm springform tin and sprinkle the blanched almonds over the bottom. Press half of the kunafa dough down over the almonds.
  • Spread the cheese mixture over the kunafa, using a palette knife so you have an even layer.
  • Take the other half of the kunafa dough and press over the top. 
  • Bake for approximately 40 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle ground pistachios on the top.
  • Pour the rosewater syrup evenly over the cake and leave to cool before removing  from the tin.

300g caster sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp rose water

200g butter, melted

500g kunafa pastry (this is shredded filo dough and can be found in Greek or Middle Eastern delicatessens

250g ricotta cheese

250g mascarpone cheese

2 large egg yolks

50g caster sugar

100g blanched almonds

100g chopped pistachios

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