Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Karelian rice pies

May I introduce a laborious, challenging and delicious classic: Karelian rice pies - traditional food that everybody likes.

This is how to make them:

First you need to cook the porridge. This may sound easy, but to me it's the hardest part. Cooking milk is just not my cup of tea.

For the porridge you need

3 dl porridge rice
3 dl water
1,5 l milk
1,5 tsp salt

The milk should be fatty milk, not skimmed. And the rice should be porridge rice, not basmati or jasmin rice.

Cook the water and rice for couple of minutes, the rice should suck all the water.

Add milk and salt. Cook for about 40 minutes. All the cook books say that you need to mix the boiling porridge every now and then, but I've noticed that no matter how much I mix, always at some point those brown burnt flakes start flowing in the porridge.

This is something the cook books don't teach you: just pick the largest burnt sucker flakes up from the kettle and don't tell anyone.

Once the porridge is done, let it cool. Or the next phase is so slow that the porridge probably cools down nicely on its own.

For the shell dough you need

4 dl rye flour
1 dl wheat flour
2 dl water
1 tsp salt

Mix the ingredients.

Roll a bar out of the dough. Cut the bar into 30 pieces.

Roll each of the dough piece into ball.

Roll the dough ball into flat, thin, round or oval flake having about 1 mm thickness. Use wheat flours if needed.

Pile up the dough shells on top of each other, about 10 for each pile.

Once all the shells are rolled, you can start filling the pies. Spread a nice junk of porridge on top of the shell.

Wrap the sides to the center of the pie.

Start pinching the dough into wrinkles.

First the other end, then flip it around...

...and continue with the rest of the pie, from center to the tip of the pie.

Put the pie on baking plate. You can lay the pies quite close to each other, they won't expand in the oven.

250 degrees celsius for 15 to 20 minutes, and they're done. But not ready yet.

Melt some butter and water.

Brush the pies with butter-water.

Let the pies cool slowly under a cloth (you might want to have a piece of paper between the pies and the cloth, you just brushed them with butter, remember).



  1. Again a super useful post! But! I hear an army of grandmothers rolling in their graves when you teach future generations to pinch the pie into waves/wrinkles. That's a big no-no (in my ancestral line anyway). That way the pointy ends might burn in the oven, apparently. You're supposed to make the waves with pushing movements, using only one finger on each side. No wonder I have merited "the poorest wrinkler of the family" - award many times. It's really difficult! Maybe I should just bake in secret and pinch - yours look great!

    1. Hear hear! My mom and grandma are nagging about the same thing, they say you need to "ummistaa", not "rypyttää". Pinching the pies is my way of being a young rebel (the fact is that I can't do the pushing thing, it's super difficult).

      I thought I could sneak away with this pinching vs. pushing topic, but Essi, you surely are on a watch ;)