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CARROT CASSEROLE

Carrot casserole Like many other Finnish Christmas casserole dishes, this carrot casserole tastes a bit sweet.

Below you will find two recipes featuring slightly different preparation methods.

1. Slower method for making carrot casserole:

100 ml short grain rice
150 ml water
350 ml whole milk
1000 g carrots
½ tsp salt
50 ml dark molasses
2 eggs
150 ml cream

Bring the water to the boil in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until water is wholly absorbed in it. Add the milk and bring the mixture to the boil again, stirring frequently. Lower the heat to minimum, cover the pan with lid and simmer until the rice and milk have thickened into a soft-textured, velvety smooth porridge. Stir every now and then to prevent the porridge from burning on the bottom or forming a skin on the surface.

Meanwhile, peel the carrots and cut off their ends. Cut the carrots in about 5 cm long chunks. If they are very thick, halve them lengthwise. Cook the carrots in boiling water until tender. Pour out the cooking water. Place the uncovered pan back to the warm stove plate, so that the excess moisture will evaporate, and the carrots feel dry. Puree the carrots through a food mill.

Mix the carrot puree in the rice porridge and let the mixture cool a bit. Add the salt, molasses, eggs and half of the cream. Whip the rest of the cream and gently fold it in. Pour the batter into one or two buttered oven casseroles.

Sprinkle the surface with a thin layer of dry breadcrumbs (or with finely ground almonds as a gluten-free substitute suitable for coeliacs) and decorate it by pressing little bumps on it with the tip of a spoon. Dot the surface with pats of butter.

Bake the casserole at 150 - 160 °C for about 1 - 1 hours until the batter is set and cooked, slightly puffed and golden brown on top. The baking time may vary, according to the thickness of the batter/depth of the casserole dish. Check the dish from time to time, not letting the mixture dry out. Serve the casserole with baked Christmas ham.

Although carrot casserole is always best when prepared, baked and eaten fresh from the scratch, it can be frozen after baking. In that case, omit the breadcrumbs. Let the frozen casserole thaw in refrigerator. If necessary, moisten the casserole by mixing in a bit of cream before warming it up. Cover the casserole and warm at 150 °C.

2. Quicker method for making carrot casserole:

500 g carrots
100 ml short grain rice
200 ml cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
½ tsp salt
50 ml dark molasses

Cook the rice in boiling water until almost tender. Strain the rice. Peel and grate the raw carrots using a very fine grater. Whip the cream. Mix the cooked rice, grated carrots, eggs, egg yolks, salt and molasses and finally fold in the whipped cream. Pour the batter into one or two buttered oven casseroles.

Sprinkle the surface with a thin layer of dry breadcrumbs (or with finely ground almonds as a gluten-free substitute suitable for coeliacs) and decorate it by pressing little bumps on it with the tip of a spoon. Dot the surface with pats of butter.

Bake the casserole at 150 - 160 °C for about 1 - 1 hours until the batter is set and cooked, slightly puffed and golden brown on top. The baking time may vary, according to the thickness of the batter/depth of the casserole dish. Check the dish from time to time, not letting the mixture dry out. Serve the casserole with baked Christmas ham.

Although carrot casserole is always best when prepared, baked and eaten fresh from the scratch, it can be frozen after baking. In that case, omit the breadcrumbs. Let the frozen casserole thaw in refrigerator. If necessary, moisten the casserole by mixing in a bit of cream before warming it up. Cover the casserole and warm at 150 °C.

Recipe source: family recipe/traditional Finnish recipe.


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