Karelian pasties, also known as Karelian pies or Karjalanpiirakka, are a traditional Finnish dish that have been enjoyed for centuries. These savory pastries are made with a rye crust and filled with a variety of fillings such as rice, mashed potatoes, or even fish. In this article, we will introduce you to the history and cultural significance of Karelian pasties, and provide a delicious recipe for you to try at home.
Karelian pasties, also known as Karjalanpiirakka in Finnish, have a rich history dating back to the 19th century. They originated in the region of Karelia, which was historically a contested area between Finland and Russia. The pasties were a staple food for the people of Karelia, who were known for their resourcefulness and ability to make delicious meals out of simple ingredients.
The traditional Karelian pasty is made with a thin rye crust and filled with a mixture of boiled potatoes and rice. However, there are many variations of the dish, such as those filled with barley or millet. Some versions may also include small amounts of meat or fish.
Karelian pasties are typically cooked by boiling or baking, but they can also be grilled or fried. They are often served with butter, and sometimes accompanied by a variety of condiments such as egg butter or sour cream. The pasties are also a popular food at Finnish festivals and celebrations, such as the Midsummer festival, where they are often enjoyed with cold beer.
In addition to its cultural significance, Karelian pasties also have a unique and distinct pattern on the crust, which is typically pressed by using a special wooden tool called a piirakkapulikka, that has a symbol or design on it. These patterns are often passed down through generations and have become an important aspect of the dish’s heritage.
The Karelian Pasties Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 cup cooked mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 egg (for brushing)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, rye flour, and salt. Mix well.
- Add the butter to the flour mixture and use your hands to blend it in until the mixture has a crumbly texture.
- Beat the egg and cold water together and add it to the flour mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough lightly, then divide it into 8 equal portions.
- Roll out each portion of dough into a circle, about 5 inches in diameter.
- In a mixing bowl, combine cooked rice, mashed potatoes, and chopped onions. Mix well.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of the rice mixture onto one half of each rolled-out dough circle.
- Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal the pasty.
- Brush the pasties with beaten egg and use a fork to make a few small slits in the top of each one.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place the pasties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the pasties for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Karelian pasties are a traditional Finnish dish that have been enjoyed for centuries. These savory pastries are made with a rye crust and filled with a variety of fillings such as rice, mashed potatoes, or even fish. In this article, we have introduced you to the history and cultural significance of Karelian pasties, and provided a delicious recipe for you to try at home. The recipe is easy to follow and the end result is a delicious and authentic Finnish dish that you and your family will love.