KARELIAN RICE PASTIES
500 ml bolted rye flour *)
½ tsp salt
150 - 200 ml water
(1 - 2 tbsp turnip rape oil)
150 ml short grain rice
300 ml water
650 ml whole milk
1 - 2 eggs or egg yolks
pinch of salt
lump of butter
egg and butter spread
Start making the filling by bringing the water to the boil. Add the rice and simmer until the water is absorbed in rice. Add the milk, bring the mixture
to the boil and let it cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continually with a wooden spoon.
Reduce the heat to the minimum or turn it off completely cover the pan with a lid and let the mixture simmer for about 30 - 40 minutes, stirring every now and then.
The filling is ready, when it has thickened into a velvety, white porridge. Add a lump of butter, mix, cover the pan with lid and set aside to cool.
It would be best to prepare the porridge on the previous day
and store it covered in refrigerator, so that it will thicken and not be too runny when used to fill the pasties.
Prepare the pasty dough: mix the flour and salt, add the oil and water little at a time and mix to get a firm, non-sticky dough. Divide the dough in 15 - 20 equal-size pieces and
roll them into small balls. With a tapered rolling pin, roll out the flattened balls one at a time into very thin disks, about 1 mm thick and 10 - 15 cm in diameter. (You could also try to use a pasta machine for rolling.) Cover the pie disks lightly with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
Mix the egg(s) or yolk(s) in the rice porridge and season with salt. Spread about ½ cm thick layer of the porridge filling evenly in the centre of the pie disks, see figure 1 below. Note: the filling must not be too runny, it should hold its shape when spread on the pie disks.
Raise the edges of the pie disks over the filling towards the centre, pinching the edges with your
fingers (see figure 2) to make the pasty look like shown in figure 3.
Place the pasties on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake at 255 - 300 °C for about 5 - 8 minutes or until brown specks start to appear on their surface.
Meanwhile, heat about 150 ml whole milk in a saucepan, add a big lump of butter and let it melt. Using tongs or spatula, dip the piping hot pasties one at a time in the hot milk-butter mixture and place them in a large, shallow bowl or a plate, preferably in one layer. Cover the bowl tightly with parchment paper
and a towel, and let the pasties soften for about half an hour.
Warm pasties are traditionally served with egg and butter spread (see the picture on right).
The pasties may also be eaten topped with plain butter, cheese, ham or reindeer roast slices, gravlax, shrimps or whatever you happen to like!
The pasties can be reheated in oven or a toaster.
See recipes for Karelian potato pasties and
*) Use rye flour milled from partly hulled rye kernels, having a finer texture and lighter colour than regular rye flour. If this flour (also known as "bolted rye flour") is unavailable, use half regular rye flour and half wheat flour.
Recipe source: traditional Finnish recipe.