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Greek cheesecake with Aegina pistachios and “kouroupa” (Cretan xynomyzithra) by Stelios Parliaros

Greek cheesecake with Aegina pistachios and “kouroupa” (Cretan xynomyzithra) by Stelios Parliaros

In: RECIPES

There are several imaginative ways to “greekify” cheesecake. Our chef, in this recipe, makes a variation of the original cheesecake base made of Aegina pistachios, instead of the typical American digestive biscuits one. As for the filling, we mix Greek yoghurt with Cretan “kouroupa”, some kind of xynomyzithra made of both sheep and goat milk. 

Greek cheesecake with Aegina pistachios and “kouroupa” (Cretan xynomyzithra) by Stelios Parliaros

There are several imaginative ways to “greekify” cheesecake. Our chef, in this recipe, makes a variation of the original cheesecake base made of Aegina pistachios, instead of the typical American digestive biscuits one. As for the filling, we mix Greek yoghurt with Cretan “kouroupa”, some kind of xynomyzithra made of both sheep and goat milk. 

Preparation time: 15΄, Cooking time: 15΄, Chilling time: 2h

Ingredients (8 - 10 servings)

For the base

  • 200g Aegina pistachios (kernels only)
  • 70g cow-milk butter, room temperature
  • 40g sugar
  • 1 egg

For the filling

  • 700g kouroupa (Cretan xynomyzithra)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 300g cow-milk yoghurt, strained
  • 1 gelatin sheet (5g)

For the fig “spoon sweet” (sweet preserve)

  • 300g of dried figs, cut in four
  • 250g thyme honey
  • 500 ml fresh orange juice
  • Orange zest (one medium unwaxed orange)
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly- ground pepper

Method

Base: Preheat the oven to 170°C.

  1. In a blender, grind the pistachios until dust. In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients together until evenly combined and press the mixture into the bottom of a 24cm springform pan. Bake for 12-15 min.  Remove the pan from the oven and let cool. Carefully run a knife around the crust to loosen from the pan without removing it.
  2. Filling: Soak gelatin sheet into 100 ml cold water for about 10 min. Drain and transfer into another bowl. Pour approximately 50 ml hot water and stir with a spoon until dissolved.
  3. Beat the cream cheese with the caster sugar until a firm yet even cream has formed. Add the dissolved gelatin sheet and keep beating until evenly combined. 
  4. Add the yoghurt, gently stir and scrape the mixture over the cool baked crust. Chill the cheesecake into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. 
  5. Fig spoon sweet:  in medium heat, boil the orange juice with the honey for approximately 5 min until it starts to seethe. Add the rest of the ingredients, lower the heat and let simmer for about 15 min until most liquid has evaporated, and a firm syrup is formed. Let cool. 
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator, spread the spoon sweet over the top of it and serve.

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