Karjalanpiirakka: Karelian Pasties from Finland

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Karjalanpiirakka are a traditional snack from Finland. The pierogi with the rice filling originated in the historic province of Finnish Karelia. Today, they are a speciality throughout Finland and are available almost everywhere. This simple and uncomplicated dish is guaranteed to fill you up, and you can also easily make it yourself at home – here is the iconic recipe!

Total time
90 Minutes
Preparation time
40 Minutes
  • 420 ml Water
  • 250 g Rice pudding or risotto rice
  • 970 ml Milk
  • 3 Tsp. Salt
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • 300 g Rye flour
  • 200 g Wheat flour
  • Pot
Step 1
  • Ingredients
  • 200 ml Water
  • 250 g Rice pudding or risotto rice
  • 850 ml Milk
  • 2 Tsp. Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • Utils
  • Pot

First prepare the rice pudding: Pour the water into a large pan and bring to the boil. Pour in the rice and cook until the water is completely absorbed. Then add the milk. Leave to simmer at a low temperature for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the rice from burning. Then add the salt and butter and mix everything together well. Leave the rice mixture to cool.

Step 2
  • Ingredients
  • 300 g Rye flour
  • 200 g Wheat flour
  • 220 ml Water
  • 1 Tsp. Salt

In the meantime, prepare the dough. To do this, mix the two types of flour and knead with water and salt to form a smooth dough. The dough should not crumble, but also not be too sticky. Shape the dough into a long roll and cut it into 25 equal pieces. On a floured work surface, roll out the pieces of dough one by one into thin ovals. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Step 3

Now fill the patties: Place a large tablespoon of the rice filling in the middle of each flatbread. Smooth it out a little with the spoon. Fold the sides of the flatbread towards the center. To create the typical shape, gradually press the edges together all the way round with your thumb and forefinger.

Place the finished pierogi on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the dough and rice pudding are lightly colored.

Step 4
  • Ingredients
  • 120 ml Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter

Meanwhile, bring the milk to the boil in a pan and melt the butter in it. Remove the pierogi from the oven and brush with the milk and butter mixture.

Nutritional values per serving
Energy175 kcal
Protein5,4 g
Fat10 g
Carbohydrates16,3 g
Vitamin A103 μg
Calcium90 mg
Phosphorus100 mg
Tipp: Serve traditionally

Karjalanpiirakka is traditionally served with egg butter in Finland. To do this, hard-boil 3 eggs, peel and cut into pieces. Mix with 100 g butter and season with salt. Alternatively, the pierogi are also eaten like bread and topped with sausage or cheese.

History and tradition of Karjalanpiirakka

Today, you can find them in Finnish cafés and bakeries as a breakfast item or as a snack. But Karelian pasties are originally a poor people’s food from the Finnish region of Karelia, near the Russian border.

Hearty, filling and without many ingredients, the simple dumplings quickly developed into a popular dish.Karjalanpiirakka actually translates as “Karelian pie”.

Traditionally, a filling made from barley or pearl barley was common. However, rice has been imported to Finland since the 17th century, so the rice pudding filling has prevailed to this day. The egg butter, called munavoi, is then spread on the pierogi.

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