Karelian Pies

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Karelian Pies

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Rice porridge/filling:
2 dl / 0,8 cup short grain rice eg. Arborio / Calrose)
2 dl /0,8 cup Water
1 liter /4 cup Milk fatty
1 tsp Salt
2 tbs Butter
Dough / crust:
2 dl /0,8 cup Water
4 dl / 1,7 cup rye flour
1 dl / 0,4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
Egg-Butter Spread:
2 hard boiled eggs
50 gr / o,2 cup Butter only soft, not grease
½ tsp Salt
  • Medium


  • Rice porridge/filling:

  • Dough / crust:

  • Egg-Butter Spread:



Karelian pie has a rye pastry crust that is filled with savory rice pudding. It is usually eaten with a mixture made with hard-boiled eggs and butter.

The egg and butter mixture is of course optional, but you might get some questioning looks if you decide to eat your pie without it. Karelian pies are a perfect snack for both everyday life and special occasions – they are even served at weddings and graduation parties.

How to Make the Rice Porridge/Filling:

This recipe is for 25-30 Karelian pies. Consider halving the recipe if you are first-timer.

  1. Start by making the filling, rice porridge. I often make it a day before baking because the porridge needs to be cold when you put it in the pies.
  2. Boil some water in a pan. Add some butter if your milk is not very fatty: the fattier the better, you know.
  3. Add the rice and cook until the water is absorbed.
  4. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  5. Simmer on a low heat for about an hour (the time depends on the rice you use of course).
  6. Season the rice porridge with salt.
  7. Let the rice filling cool down.
  8. Now it’s time to make the dough.

How to Make the Pastry:

  1. This couldn’t be easier! Just stir the flours and salt into the water and knead into a solid dough.
  2. Now you have the filling and the dough ready. Here comes the trickiest part.
  3. I will show you the technique how to “rypyttää” (crinkle) Karelian pies, but remember that it’s OK that we all have our own unique style. In Finland, we have also a proverb for this: Karelian pies “look like their maker”.
  4. The most important thing is the position of the fingers and that you don’t close the pie by pushing too hard. Note: With a rolling pin flatten half of the dough on a well-floured baking board. A 50/50 rye/wheat flour mix is good for that.
  5. It is a matter of taste how thin you roll the crust. Some like to have thin crust and a lot of porridge inside. Others, like me, prefer vice versa.
  6. If you are a first-timer, make different versions and see which you think is best.
  7. Place the pies onto a baking tray covered with baking paper.
  8. Bake the Karelian pies at 275° C  for 10–15 minutes, until the porridge is golden brown.
  9. Once the pies are removed from the oven, brush them with melted butter or a butter and water/milk mixture.
  10. After buttering, cover the pies with baking paper and a kitchen towel to soften. Of course, you have to taste one (or two) right after buttering.
  11. If you want to enjoy Karelian pies in a traditional Finnish way, you have them with egg-butter spread.

How to Make the Finnish Egg-Butter Spread:

  1. Boil the eggs in water for at least 8 minutes.
  2. Rinse the boiled eggs under cold water and remove their shells. Use a fork to mash the eggs finely together with the soft butter, in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add some salt if needed.


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