Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Burns Supper leftovers: Karelian pasties or karjalanpiirakat

Burns Supper 2007 left me not only with lots of leftover leeks that I had bought for the cock a leekie soup and ended up using in a savoury leek souffle. I also had some neeps & tatties left over (that's boiled and mashed turnips and potatoes for those of you who don't speak Scots; neeps and tatties are the traditional accompaniments for haggis:) The best way to use up those vegetable mashes, obviously, is to make karelian pasties or karelian pies. Yep, you've seen these Finnish goodies on this blog before - here, served with eggy butter. Karelian pasties are small rye-crusted pastries (usually)with rice porridge or potato mash filling, although carrot, carrot & potato, turnip & potato, carrot & rice, barley porridge, etc fillings are available, too. I usually simply buy them from a local supermarket, but they aren't so difficult to make. The crust is simple and inexpensive flour and water affair, the filling is simple and inexpensive, too. Yet, the resulting pasties are nothing less than delicious, especially with eggy butter or simply buttered and eaten with a slice of savoury ham, for instance.

Karelian pasties
(Karjala pirukad)

200 ml cold water
1 tsp salt
250 ml rye flour
250 ml wheat flour

Potato and turnip filling:
500 grams potatoes
500 grams turnips
100 ml milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
15 grams butter
1 Tbsp wheat flour

For the dough, mix water, salt and flour by hand. Knead into a dough (you may need a bit more flour, the dough should be dry-ish and pliable), divide into dozen pieces. Press each dough piece into a ball, then flatten and roll into thin discs on a desktop dusted with rye flour. Keep the dough balls and rolled discs under a large piece of cling film to keep them moist.
Place a heaped tablespoon or two of your chosen filling (I've given a recipe for turnip & potato one here), and crinkle (?) the edges over the filling (see photo). You should be able to see the filling, as it's an open pastry!
Bake at 300°C for 15-20 minutes, until the pasties are slightly golden brown at edges.
Meanwhile, heat some milk and butter in a small saucepan, keep warm!
When the pasties are done, take them out of the oven, dip into the hot milk-and-butter mixture, drain and place in a bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel. This is the only way to get moist and soft Karelian pasties.

For the filling, peel turnips and potatoes and boil separately until soft. Mash, add the milk, butter and flour, season with salt and sugar.


ilva said...

Oh Pille they look pretty and sounds good! A killer combination! And thanks for revealing something about yourself in the meme!

Bonnie said...

I loooooooove riisipiirakat! And I usually gorge myself on them when I head to Finland.. I have tried to make them on a couple of occassion but obviously just with the rice mixture. I'm definitely gonna give the mash a try next time because it looks so much easier! I love the dipping method, which I hadn't heard of before.

They also heat up really well in the toaster. Yum yum yum yum!

deinin said...

I just finished off the last of a huge batch of Karelian pasties from the freezer - this must mean it's time to make some more. I love them with eggy butter, or with scrambled eggs for a weekend breakfast, or with sliced hard-boiled eggs and roe paste (um, mätitahna, whatever that is in English). Apparently the egg part is essential, heh.

I have to say I've always gone for the rice version, the potato ones I've tried haven't been that wonderful. Probably I should just try making them myself, too.

juandno said...

hej :) This is No ( part of my name) writting from Sweden.

Our blog has half food and half our every-day´s life, and writting in English and Japanese together with Ju. No is Japanese and Ju is Finnish :) I came here by searching food blog today and found your blog very wonderful :) And I would love to come back again :) We also have recipe for karjalanpiirakka but yours look so tasty too :) :) Ju lives in Finland now so No will move to Finland soon too :)

tschoerda said...

hey, they look stunning! i only tried this dish a few weeks ago - which is kind of tricky if you have never eaten it ...

i acutally discovered karelian pasties in search of a cool recipe for pirogi ... i wish i had seen your photo beforehand, because my little pastries are really ugly compared to yours :(

they still tasted great!

sciencemel said...

Are you sure you don't run a delivery service? I might have to break down and do some proper cooking despite my singleton status. Your karelian pasties look like the perfect 'comfort food' for writing a PhD on damp, cool, Edinburgh evenings.

Pille said...

Ilva - did you ever come across these while still in Sweden?

Bonnie - the rice version is good, too, obviously, but somehow I've grown especially fond of the potato mash one. And yes, they're great toasted on the following day!

Deinin - haven't tried them with scrambled eggs yet- I either go with the traditional eggy butter, or then simply spread with butter and covered with ham. I'm sure if you make the potato ones yourself, you'll love them!

Juandno - glad to hear you liked what you found, and good luck with the move to Finland!

Tschoerda - your little pastries aren't ugly, they're just different:)

Sciencemel - I agree! That's why I had them delivered from Estonia and Finland every now and then (though I did make them once in Edinburgh, too:)

Drew Shiel said...

I hadn't heard of the dipping trick before! My wife, Nina - who has a food blog as well at Rocking Grass - is Finnish, and introduced me to these about eight years ago. I can't get enough of the things, so it's great to see a simple recipe for them.

Anonymous said...

My granma used to make karelian pasties with smashed potato filling. I know that karelian pasties can be made with rice filling and potato filling, but I didn't know that they can be made with potato and turnip filling as well. It was good to hear that there are also other fillings too!

I found this post where is a video about making karelian pasties. It's the rice version of them. I think it nicely shows the process of making them.