Place the prunes, half the lemon juice and zest, the cinnamon stick, and bay leaves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then almost immediately turn down the heat to simmer for 3 - 4 minutes. Cool and let this stand overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Butter the base and sides of a 10-inch square or round baking pan. Cut the brioche into cubes and place in a food processor with the walnuts, then process until finely chopped. Put the brioche and walnut mixture in a large bowl with the nutmeg, melted butter, and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix well and press the mixture gently over the base of the buttered baking pan. Refrigerate until firm.
To make the filling, beat the cheeses together with the remaining lemon juice and zest, the remaining sugar, and the eggs (add the latter one by one, beating well in between to combine evenly).
Drain the prunes and cut them into small pieces. Place them all over the cheesecake base, then pour over the filling, smoothing the top.
Bake for about an hour, until the filling has set. Cool completely before serving.
Serves: 8 - 10
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Reprinted with permission from ©The Eastern and Central European Kitchen: Contemporary and Classic Recipes, by Silvena Rowe, published by Interlink Books. click for review