Legendary Dishes | Jablková Žemlovka (apple loaf)

CZECHIA

Served as a main course in Prague restaurants, this apple loaf deserves its place among the iconic traditional dishes of Europe.

Traditionally made with day-old bread, the new tradition is to bake bread specifically for the purpose of producing long thin loaves that can be sliced into small rounds for this dish.

Curd cheese replaces butter in the original recipe.

The white foam is a flourish that is more than mere decoration, but it adds a degree of difficulty.

Clever cooks bake the dish in a low oven, then add the foam and blast the heat to achieve a crispy crunchy topping.

  • 1 kg sweet apples, cored, quartered
  • 500 ml milk, full-fat
  • 250 g curd cheese
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 200 g white bread, sliced into thick rounds, cut into squares
  • 60 g vanilla sugar
  • 125 g raisins
  • 45 g breadcrumbs
  • 30 g icing sugar
  • 10 g cinnamon
  • Butter, for greasing

Prepare the apples, keep in water until ready to use.

Soak raisins in some of the milk, about an hour. Then soak the rounds of bread in milk.

Separate the eggs, mixing the yolks with icing sugar and cheese.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Grease an ovenproof baking dish, dust with breadcrumbs.

Lay the bread on top of the breadcrumbs.

Grate the apples onto the bread, dust with cinnamon and half the raisins.

Place the remaining bread on top, followed by the remaining apples, grated or sliced, the cinnamon and raisins.

Pour in the cheese mixture evenly across the surface.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Whisk the egg whites with the vanilla sugar.

Remove and gently spoon the egg foam over the top, making peaks with a fork or the back of the spoon.

Turn oven up to 210°C and bake for a further 15 minutes.