Kataifi Cheesecake Baskets

Serves 8 – 10

These gorgeous Kataifi baskets will add a real Easter feel to your menu, with their nest-like appearance. Deceptive in their show-stopping beauty and intricate detail, they are surprisingly easy to make and absolutely delicious at the same time.

Here’s what goes in

  • 1 box of Kataifi pastry (500g)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • A drizzle of runny honey

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 1 tin of condensed milk (385g)
  • ½ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tub of smooth, cream cheese (250g)
  • 125 ml of cream, whipped

For the topping:

  • Fresh figs
  • Pistachio nuts, chopped
  • Honey, to drizzle

How to do it

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Using your fingers, pry the strands of pastry apart so they are no longer tightly wound. For the size baskets I have made, you should divide a box of pastry into 8 to 10 portions. Brush a portion of pastry with melted butter and honey and arrange it, in the form of a nest, over the top of an inverted, lightly greased ramekin. Gently press it down so that the strands stick together. Do this for each one and when you have all of them ready, bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are firm and golden brown in colour. Leave them to cool completely before removing them from the ramekins.

To make the filling, whip the cream using a hand-held electric beater. In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, cream cheese and lemon juice and mix well until this is smooth and creamy. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate this for at least one hour before filling the baskets. The pastry baskets are best filled just before you want to serve the dessert so they don’t go soggy. Spoon a bit of the filling in, or pipe it in. For a beautiful finish, top with fresh fig halves, chopped pistachio nuts and a drizzle of honey.

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