rose, cardamom and pistachio cheese tart

pistachio cheese tart with rose water fragrance and a subtle cardamom flavour

prep: 20'
bake: 40'
cool: 60'
5-6 servings

Years ago in a cafe in the beautiful city of Tehran, I was blown away by an elegant-looking rose, cardamom, and pistachio cheesecake. Though truly exotic I knew from the beginning that I could write its recipe and make it at home, simply. Unlike all other cheesecakes, I didn't make it with a biscuit base but a tart base and with classic cheesecake recipe with some Iranian ingredients and made it absolutely heavenly and unforgettable.

ingredients for the tart crust

  • 150 g (1 cup and 2 tbsp) plain flour
  • 12 g (1 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 g (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 150 g (5 oz) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 30 g (2 tbs) heavy or sour cream
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) ground cardamom


ingredients for the cream cheese filling

  • 500 g ( 1 lb) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) sour cream
  • 100g(1/2 cup) sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 g (1/2 tbsp) cornstarch
  • 15 ml (1 tbs) rose water
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) ground cardamom
  • pinch of salt
  • 30g (1⁄4 cup) chopped or slivered pistachios

preparation of the pie crust

  • preheat oven to 150°C (300°F)
  • get a 23 cm (9 inch) non-stick loose base tart tin with 4 cm (1/5 inch)-long edges
  • place all the ingredients in the food processor
  • pulse until a ball is shaped
  • be careful not to overwork the dough, just a few pulses
  • rest the dough for 10 minutes
  • dust the surface with some flour
  • roll the dough out using a rolling pin
  • roll the dough around the rolling pin
  • place it into the tart tin
  • with a knife, trim the edges of the dough to fit the tart tin
  • prick the dough with a fork to let the air out while baking
  • freeze the tart for 30 minutes
  • bake in the preheated oven for only 10 minutes
  • set the tart aside to cool


preparation of the cream cheese filling

  • in a large bowl mix the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, cornstarch, rose water, cardamom and salt
  • mix until combined
  • add the eggs one at a time until each egg is well incorporated
  • do not overmix the batter
  • add the pistachios
  • mix well
  • pour the cream cheese mixture over the pre-cooked pie crust
  • bake for 30-40 minutes
  • turn off the heat
  • leave it another 40 minutes in the oven
  • remove the ring
  • let it cool at room temperature
  • refrigerate for 5 hours before serving

Decorate with chopped or slivered pistachios and rose petals if desired.

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