Karjalan Piirakka (Karelian Pie) With Egg Butter

"This is very good served with Hapankaalikeitto (Finnish Sauerkraut Soup). This recipe calls for a rice filling, but other traditional fillings include mashed potatoes, meat, fish, and cheese. Posted for Zaar World Tour 05"
photo by neener86 photo by neener86
photo by neener86
Ready In:
1hr 45mins




  • For the Filling:

  • In a saucepan combine the water and rice. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir, cover, and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the milk, cover, and continue cooking until the milk is completely absorbed and the rice is soft and creamy.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • For the Pastry:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the water, salt, and rye and white flours to make a stiff dough.
  • Shape the dough into a log and cut into 16 portions and shape each into a round.
  • On a lightly floured board, roll out each round into a 6-inch circle.
  • Spread about 3 tablespoons of filling evenly on each round.
  • Fold two opposite edges of the pastry over the filling and crimp the edges of the dough toward the center to make an oval-shaped pastry, allowing about 1/2-inch of the crust to overlay the filling and leaving the center of the filling exposed.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and hot milk and brush on the pastries.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, brushing once during baking, until the pastries are golden on the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and brush again.
  • For the Egg Butter:

  • In a small bowl, cream the butter. Stir in the eggs.
  • Season with the white pepper and ground ginger, if desired.
  • Yield: 1 cup.
  • Cool the pastries and serve with the egg butter at room temperature.

Questions & Replies

  1. Hi there! I really want to make these, but I don't have any rye flour and I can't find any. Would I be able to substitute regular flour?


  1. These used to be my favorite when I lived in Finland and they taste even better homemade. The proportion of dough to filling is perfect in this recipe, I had none of either leftover at the end. I used Swedish style porridge rice because that is what is traditionally used, but any short grain white rice works (look in the Hispanic foods section). You do have to be careful to stir often once the milk is added, it has a tendency to scorch (and whole milk tastes best). Brushing with the milk and butter is a must or the crust gets too crisp. My mother-in-law handed down the trick of placing all the pies in a Ziploc bag after they are done baking but while they are still hot and letting them sit for a couple hours. This softens the crust if it comes out too tough which it almost always does for my taste. The egg butter is a must with these, its the traditional way. Leftovers are really good with ham and cheese on top, just pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and eat with a fork YUM. These disappeared too fast at the midsummer potluck, guess I will have to make more!
  2. The piirakkas need a hot oven and must be baked for about 25 -30 minutes as rye flour cooks slower
  3. My experience is the same as crazy finish bears - no mods. Ate these all over Finland; frozen from the grocery store isn't bad but fresh baked is by far the best. This recipe is just like mama-finn used to make.
  4. Here's the thing. This is my first time ever attempting Karelian Pie and this recipe is poorly written for someone who isn't familiar with what the end result should be. There are several errors in the written recipe. 1)Filling: salt is listed as an ingredient but no mention made in the directions of how much to use. 2)Rice: "uncooked rice"? What kind? Brown? White? Any particular type recommended? 3)Direction #14: "stir together the melted butter and HOT MILK.." To find how much melted butter is needed one has to look at the very top of the ingredient list, even though we are mostly through the recipe by this point. And what hot milk? Hot milk is not listed as an ingredient to pair with the melted butter, so how much?? I may try making these again, but with a different recipe that is written properly.
  5. I am from Karelia, a region in Russia close to Finland, and grew up eating this wonderful pastry (in my place they called it KALITKI). My husband made them for me and we used mashed potatoes for the filling. Thank you so very much for the recipe!


  1. We ate these in Estonia fm frozen packages and they were surprisingly good (for being frozen). A friend topped each pastry with some butter. Then a soft boiled (not runny) egg, broke it in some pieces in place, plus a sprinkle of salt. That was almost 20 years ago and I?m looking forward to trying this recipe to have it again! The egg butter sounds nice, but I?ll go w/ the above.


My name is Ami and I share my home with my husband, Carey, our two small sons, James and Charles and our daughters Meradydd (it's pronounced Meradith)and Kathrynn. Until recently, I was a Specialist in the National Guard. I'm pretty eclectic in my studies and I've learned a lot becuase of that since I don't limit myself. Right now I'm taking classes for animal care. I've also been studying a lot about herbalism and really enjoy learning about that. My mother and I also run a home based business for natural soap, balms, etc. We use only the most the natural ingredients available. I'm also a Mary Kay consultant. Busy, huh? :D I love to read and learn new things. My husband says our books will be the death of us. LOL. I love to cook and experiment. I also like to take walks, rain or not.
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