Kim’s Finnish Recipes: Karelian Pasties

Karelian pasties (Karjalanpiirakat in Finnish) are the best of the Karelian delicacies. According to the traditional recipe, the pasties are made of a thin rye crust and filled with rice. Butter, often mixed with boiled egg (munavoi), is spread over the hot pasties before eating. Sometimes carrot or potato fillings are also used.

Karelian pasties. Courtesy of Kahvikisu:

Karelian pasties. Courtesy of Kahvikisu

Ingredients for 40 pasties

Dough (crust)

– 2 dl cold water
– 1 tsp salt
– 2,5 dl rye flour
– 2,5 dl wheat flour
– 25g butter

Porridge (filling)

– 4 dl water
– 4 dl porridge rice
– 16-18 dl milk
– 1 teaspoons of salt


– 2 dl milk
– 75g butter

Boil the porridge a day before cooking the pasties using a thick-based pot. Add the rice into boiling water and cook until the water has absorbed. Add milk in small portions. Stir constantly so the porridge does not get burned. When all the milk has added and the porridge is boiling, turn down the heat. Stew the porridge under the lid until it is well-done and stir from time to time. Add salt and let it cool down.

Make the dough by adding all the other ingredients to water. Add melted butter last. Dough must be solid and tough.

Bake a bar of the dough and split it in 40 parts. Roll them into balls and pat flat. Pile them up and cover with film to prevent drying.

Roll the pieces thin, round crusts with a spindle-shaped rolling pin. Pile them up and add flour in between. Cover with film.

Add some of the crusts on the table and get rid of the excess flour with a bun brush. Measure around 1½ to 2 table spoons of the porridge per crust. Spread out the porridge with a knife from the top to the bottom and almost to the edge sideways. Bend the edges on top of the porridge, close and crinkle with your index finger. Put them on the tin plate next to each other.

Bake in the oven in 275-300 Celsius degrees for about 10-12 minutes until they are cooked. (Do not use greaseproof paper).

Oil the ready pastries with milk-butter mix and cover up with a kitchen cloth.

Egg-butter spread

For 10 portions

– 3 hard-boiled eggs
– 1/4 salt
– 100g butter
– 1/2dl fresh herbs such as parsley or chives

Chop the cooled eggs and add salt.Add the eggs to butter (room temperature) and stir smooth.Optionally, you can flavour the butter-egg with fine parsley or chives.

Serve with the Karelian pasties.

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