Christmas recipe: baked apple delicacy with caramel, crispy “angel wing” pastries and Krupnikas ice cream

2019-12-18  |  13-33

Christmas recipe: baked apple delicacy with caramel, crispy “angel wing” pastries (žagarėliai) and Krupnikas ice cream

The holiday season is quite a challenge for those wishing to surprise their Christmas dinner guests. It is becoming increasingly difficult to come up with something new with such a wide supply of options in the stores. The recipe for success, according to Darius Dabrovolskas, chef of Vytautas Mineral SPA’s Moon restaurant, is simple – you only have to evoke fond memories with the chosen dish.

“The spirit and purpose of the Christmas celebration is to bring together loved ones scattered around the world, forcing them to leave aside their smart devices and find calm in the constant rush, and sit them all together at one table. Various holiday dishes should only be a consequence of this gathering – not a reason. Furthermore, it would be best to put energy into communicating and sharing memories while enjoying the holiday dessert – not in its preparation. One of my favourite desserts that instantly disappears from the table is a combination of žagarėliai (Lithuanian “angel wing” pastries) from childhood and apple bake,” says Dabrovolskas.

Baked apple delicacy with caramel, žagarėliai, and Krupnikas ice cream 

For the caramel: 

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Half a cup of heavy cream
  • A small pat of butter
  • Ground cinnamon and ground cloves to taste

For the baked apple delicacy: 

  • 2 medium-sized apples (it is even more authentic if the apples come from the countryside)
  • 2 tablespoons of the prepared caramel

For the žagarėliai: 

  • 2 cups of flour
  • A tablespoon of sour cream 
  • 3 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  • A teaspoon of vodka
  • Oil for frying 


Mixing dough for žagarėliai:  

Beat the eggs with the mixer and add the sour cream, salt, vodka, and half the amount of flour and mix slowly. When the flour is well mixed, add the remaining flour, mixing for another 15-20 minutes. Wrap the prepared dough in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator at 0-4C for about 1 hour. Cut the dough into small rhombuses and deep fry in the oil until well browned.

For the caramel:

Heat the sugar in a saucepan over low heat until it melts. When the sugar turns brown, add the cream, butter, and spices and cook until the mass thickens. Remove the saucepan from the fire.

The baked apple delicacy:

Peel the apples, remove the seeds, and cut into thin slices. Line the baking dish with baking paper, pour caramel over it, and place the apple slices in a layer. Cover the layered apples with baking paper and foil and bake in the oven at 180C for about 30-45 minutes.

“This dessert may be served on a plate according to your own imagination, how many guests you will serve, and what their tastes are – perhaps some will want more of the apple delicacy and others more of the žagarėliai. Krupnikas ice cream may be replaced with any favourite ice cream, and the dessert may be additionally topped with candied fruits or nuts. But quality apples are a must.

“As for me, baked apples are a memory from my childhood when we baked apples in a wood-fired oven at grandmother’s in the countryside on cold evenings. As I close my eyes, I can still remember the heat from the oven and the nice scent of homemade baked apples in the room. The combination of another attribute of childhood – the žagarėliai – and the apple bake with ice cream is particularly suitable for the Christmas table because it has the scent of cinnamon, cloves and a grandmother’s kitchen. The greatest aspect of it is that it may be eaten both warm and cold, and your memories about it will only get better – the guests of Moon restaurant will be able to convince themselves of that on the Christmas evening,” says Darius Dabrovolskas.

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