National Dish of Finland Karelian Pasty
Rice Porridge Filling
Rye Crust Pastry Shell
A Karelian Pasty is an open pastry shell filled with rice porridge. It is also called karjalanpiirakka and Karelian Pie. The dish originated in Karelia, a historical territory that lay between Finland and Russia. In modern times, it is considered Finland’s national dish. Karelian Pasties are usually eaten with a side dish called munavoi.
Directions for Preparing Karelian Pasty
For Rice Porridge Filling
- Pour the water into a saucepan and then add the cup of rice.
- Turn on the heat and bring to a boil.
- Stir occasionally.
- Place the lid on the saucepan and cook for twenty (0:20) minutes.
- Pour in the milk.
- Replace the lid and cook until the milk is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy.
- Set aside.
For Rye Crust Pastry Shell
- Place both types of flour in a large bowl together with the salt.
- Gradually add the water and knead into a stiff dough.
- Form the dough into a log.
- Divide the dough into sixteen equal pieces.
- Shape each piece into a ball.
- Lightly sprinkle flour on a board and roll out each ball into a six-inch circle.
- Place three tablespoons of the rice porridge onto the center of each circle.
- Fold the two opposite sides of each circle of dough, partly over the porridge filling, about half-inch away from the middle, leaving the center of the filling exposed.
- Crimp the folded edges by pinching the dough together with the fingers so that the pasty resembles a cowrie seashell.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Set the Karelian Pasties onto the parchment paper and bake for about fifteen (0:15) minutes until golden, brushing once with a wash made of hot milk and butter.
- Take the pasties out of the oven and while hot, brush again with the wash.
- Allow the pasties to cool. Serve the Karelian Pasties with munavoi; an egg and butter side dish.
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