Saturday, 23 July 2011

Karjalanpiirakka - Finnish Pasties

Finns are big fans of bread and dough-like treats. In keeping with tradition I decided to give a favourite Finnish savory dish a shot. Karjalanpiirakka, or Karelian Pies, are traditional pasties from the region of Karelia but ask any Finn and they will know what they are, and most likely love to indulge in them! Karjalanpiirakka are essentially rye crust with a filling of rice porridge. They can also come with mashed potato filling. You can eat them as is with a brush of butter on top or with boiled egg. I remember eating these as a kid and still enjoy them.
This recipe was handed down by my Mum. Makes 24 pieces and is suitable to freeze.
1 litre milk (I use full fat)
1 ¾ cups water
1 cup short grain rice
Salt to taste

1 cup cold water
2 ¼ cups plain flour
1 ½ cups rye flour
1 tsp salt

To make the filling put the milk, water, rice and salt into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Be sure to stir regularly and when it starts to thicken stir continuously so it does not stick to the bottom. It is ready once thickened and all the liquid is absorbed. It will resemble porridge.
To make the crust mix cold water, salt, rye flour and plain flour into a hard dough.  Roll the dough out into a log and cut it into 24 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and press into a flat round cake on a floured board.  Using a rolling pin, roll each cake into a paper thin round shape. Use flour sparingly to ensure surface and dough do not stick. Stack up the rolled out circles with a sprinkle of rye flour in between each sheet.
Once the filling has cooled down brush excess flour off the dough and spread about 2 tablespoons of rice porridge in the middle of the dough in an oval shape.  Ensure the filling reaches the top and bottom of the circle but leave the sides empty. Start to shape the piirakka by pinching the top end into a point, then with hands on either side of the circle start pinching the sides from the top end to the bottom. As you pinch the dough will drag in, pinch the bottom end to a point (like the top).

Place finished piirakat onto a baking tray and bake in the oven at 240oC for approx 10 - 15 minutes until the crust is crispy and lightly browned. After you remove from the oven brush the top with butter while hot, and EAT!
To make the egg topping mix boiled eggs with creamed butter (6 eggs to 1/2 cup butter) and salt, then smother on top.


  1. Anonymous9:12 pm GMT+8

    I'm so proud of you for carrying the old Finnish tradition to our young generation. These piirakkas originate from Pappa's birth place. Pappa would be so proud of you too!

  2. Thanks Mum. I took some to a dinner party tonight, sharing the Finnish love around piirakka style! Thanks for sharing the recipe with me.

    Pappa would love some with a good cup of Nespresso!

  3. Oh, have to try them one day too! Looks great, well done! xx

  4. Thanks Kaisla, they were very delicious! I enjoyed making them, the technique is quite simple. xx


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