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.
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.