Via: Šárka Babická
Put the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan with 125ml water. Add the lemon juice and heat over a medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring it to the boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the orange blossom water. Set the syrup aside to cool.
Put the melted butter and the saffron in a bowl and leave to steep for a few minutes, stirring just to incorporate.
If not using kataifi, use kitchen scissors to shred the filo into the smallest-size strings possible. Put the shredded pastry into a mixing bowl. Pour in the saffron butter and use your fingers to rub the butter all over the pastry strings.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Shred the Nabulsi into another mixing bowl, then add the mascarpone and mahlab and use your hands to mix it together.
Generously grease a round 23cm cake pan with butter and spread about half of the buttered filo strings across the bottom. Spread the cheese mixture across the pastry layer evenly, then cover by spreading the remaining layer of filo strings evenly over the top.
Bake in the oven for 1-1¼ hours until the cheese is bubbling and the pastry is golden. A good way of testing readiness is to wiggle the pan gently – the cheesecake should come away from the edges.
Finally, place under a hot grill/broiler for 1-2 minutes to achieve an evenly golden top layer. Pour the cooled sugar syrup over the top before serving, or serve with the syrup on the side, if preferred. Grind the pistachios into a powder using a pestle and mortar, then sprinkle the powder over the cheesecake. Slice into squares and serve.
The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy (£14.99, Nourish Books)