Prep your ingredients: the cream cheese, eggs and sour cream should be at room temperature before you begin making the filling. The nuts should be finely chopped (not to a powder, but into little bits). Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and ground nuts and set them in a bowl.
First, make the filling: In a bowl, beat together the sugar, vanilla and cream cheese until smooth and no lumps remain. Add the sour cream and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat to just combine. Pour the filling into a bowl through a sieve to remove any remaining lumps.
Make the crust: If your ghee is thick, warm it up in the microwave so it’s liquid and easy to brush onto the phyllo. Use a 9 or 10″ round springform pan, laying a sheet of parchment on the bottom and buckling it closed. Then begin layering the first ten sheets of phyllo: place the first sheet so it mostly covers the bottom of the pan but also comes up and folds over the side of the pan. Brush with ghee all over then place the second sheet so it also covers the bottom but only partially covers the top part – it’ll be slightly askew, covering the first sheet only halfway. Do this with ten sheets for the bottom layer, arranging each a little more clockwise so that you are covering the whole pan. After you have the tenth layer, brush with ghee and evenly sprinkle on half the nut mixture. Lay a sheet of phyllo on top and arrange 4 more on top of the nuts (each brushed with ghee and layered a bit askew to cover the whole pan). Spread remaining nut mixture then repeat the process with another 5 sheets of phyllo.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the center of the unbaked phyllo crust. Scrunch up the sides of the phyllo that were laying over the edge into a ruffled shape (it’s okay if it tears and it need not be pretty).
Bake the cheesecake on a sheet pan (the ghee tends to seep out and you don’t want a mess in the oven) at 325 F for about 60-70 minutes. Toward the end of baking, make the syrup: in a small pot set the water, sugar and honey (and a pinch of salt if you are like me and can’t help yourself) to cook on medium heat. Stir so the sugar dissolves then cook it for about 7 minutes, until it gets a bit thick.
When the cheesecake comes out of the oven, pour the syrup over the cheesecake – focusing mostly on the sides rather than the exposed center of the cheesecake. Let cool and then chill in the fridge overnight.
Store in the fridge, serve cold.