The cuisine of Finland and other northern countries has often been criticized. It was said to be “poor”, “not healthy” or “bad for cholesterol”. Today, this is no longer the case. The chefs cook a more modern cuisine with a wider variety of ingredients. In recent years, there has even been a new cuisine movement emerge from the region referred to as “New Nordic”.
Let’s go back to traditional Finnish food; the one I ate and fell in love when I lived there, the famous “Karjalanpiirakka". A nice little crunchy rye pie usually filled with rice porridge and less often with mashed potatoes. You can find it everywhere in Finland. Finnish people usually eat them for breakfasts or for a snack during the day. It is easy to make even if making the right shape of the pie requires a few attempts. Talking about trying, let's give it a shot !
Ingredients (for about 14 pies)
300g of rye-flour
200g of wheat-flour
1 tablespoon of oil
2dl of water
1 tablespoon of salt
1 cup of rice porridge or mashed potato
10cl of water
60g of butter
- Cook rice porridge or/and mashed potatoes, leave out.
- Prepare the pastry by mixing the rye-flour, the wheat-flour, the oil and the salt all together. Slowly add water to the mix. The pastry mustn’t be sticking and at the same time be careful it stays supple and not dry so it doesn’t break when it’s time to roll it out.
- Make a sausage shape with the pastry until it is well smooth.
- Cut it into equal proportions (about 7 pieces). For each piece: make a ball and spread it out to make a circle of it. Be careful to leave the centre of the pastry circle thinner than the edges.
- Preheat your oven to 250°c
- In the middle of each pastry circle put some rice porridge or smashed potatoes, only in the middle not on the edges.
- Bring pastry edges close to the filling, making the shape of the pie (said to look like a "small boat"). An advice: begin by an extremity of the pie, bringing the right edge and the left edge together. Then you can continue pinching the edges.
- Bake the pies for 15 minutes in your oven, at least until they are slightly golden.
- Prepare the topping: bring the water to boiling, turn off and add butter.
- Once they are out of the oven you can cover them with the topping. It is better to eat them when they are still a bit warm.
I eat them like Finnish people usually do: with a mix of hard-boiled egg and a bit of butter on the top of it. Less healthy but still yummy! Otherwise for a brunch it is always a good idea to eat them with ham/bacon, cheese or/and tomatoes.
I hope you will enjoy making this original recipe, at least much more than practicing your pronunciation! ;)