February 20, 2013

Karelian Pies ... and a winner!

I have been spoiled rotten for the past few days with gifts and treats from back home. My parents are in town and I have spend some quality time with them: doing DIY home-improvement with dad, baking with mum, and taking numerous coffee breaks in between. This kind of time with my parents is scarcer than hens teeth so I make sure to enjoy it while it lasts.

I told mum I had a hankering for traditional Karelian pies; those rye crusted pies filled with rice porridge and topped with a mixture of egg and butter. We decided to make them one morning and even though they mightn't be the prettiest, they were certainly as tasty as I remembered!


 Karelian Pies
(makes about 20)

300ml water
170g short-grain rice, rinsed
1 litre full-cream milk
pinch of salt

300ml water
about 250g rye flour
pinch of salt

50g butter
dash of milk
300ml water

3-4 hard-boiled eggs
100g soft butter

1. Start by making the porridge. Add water to a large pan and bring to boil. Add rice and cook for a couple of minutes. Add milk and bring to a soft boil. Let simmer for about 45 minutes. Add salt and let cool completely.

2. Combine water, salt and rye flour in a bowl. Knead lightly to make a smooth dough. Divide the dough in equal portions and flatten each portion to make a round disk. Cover the disks with cling to avoid drying. Roll one disk at a time into a thin (2-3mm thick) oval, spread a tablespoon of porridge onto the disk, then 'crinkle' the sides in the middle, using your thumb and index finger. Place the pies on baking trays lined with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven (225C) for about 15 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned.

3. Heat butter, milk and water in a saucepan. Dip each pie in the hot mixture and place in a large casserole (or similar) to soften. Use a fork to mix the eggs with soft butter and serve the pies topped with this mixture. These pies can be frozen (without the topping).

One final note: A big thank you for all those who entered the giveaway for Sarah's new book! I would have loved to give a copy for each one of you and it was simply too difficult to pick a winner just based on your comments so I ended up picking one randomly.

Congratulations Sarah! Here's her winning comment:

I really enjoyed reading your sugar-free journey and although I haven't been able to quite bite the bullet (yet!), I think this book would be a great guide and make the prospect a little less daunting. Our family has always enjoyed fresh, local and healthy food but we all have major sweet tooths, (cakes, biscuits, slices - our Achilles heal!). I think this book will prove to us that food, especially desserts, can still taste great without the white stuff, your rhubarb macaroon slice is already a regular rotation in our house. I also think quitting sugar will really help to clear my mind, recalibrate my palate and hopefully get rid of the horrible headaches I get.

Sarah, please email me your contact details at scandifoodie [at] gmail.com and I will post you the book!