Finnish Karelian Pie (Karjalanpiirakat)

Karelian Pies are eaten all over Scandinavia, Estonia, and northern Russia. Over the years, they have been enhanced through the addition of wheat flour to the original hard rye-only crust to improve its quality, and with additional fillings like mashed potato and carrot to broaden its appeal. Karjalanpiirakat is so important and loved in Finland that it has earned the prestigious TSG (Traditional Specialty Guaranteed) status in Europe. This means that any producer not following the traditional recipe cannot call them karjalanpiirakka and must identify them as riisipiirakka (“rice pasties”), perunapiirakka (“potato pasties”) etc…, depending on their filling.

Finnish Karjalanpiirakat- Karelian Pie

Karjalanpiirakat- Finnish Karelian Pie

These baked rye boats are filled with creamy rice and covered in melted egg butter. They are a welcome treat from the north of Finland and a true Finnish favorite eaten at breakfast or lunch. They're also a great addition to any buffet or smorgasbord.
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Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Finland, North Western European, Scandanavian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Medium saucepan
  • Medium bowl
  • Large baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Pastry brush
  • Rolling Pin


Rice Filling

  • 2 cup Water
  • 1 cup White rice
  • 2 cup Whole milk
  • 1 pinch Salt

Pastry Dough

  • 1 cup Rye flour
  • ¼ cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ cup Butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp Warmed milk

Egg Butter

  • ½ cup Butter, room temperature
  • 2 large Hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 pinch Ground white pepper (optional)
  • 1 pinch Ground ginger (optional)


Rice Porridge Filling

  • Combine water and rice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then stir, cover, and cook 20 minutes.
  • Add milk and continue to cook covered until the milk is completely absorbed and the rice is soft and creamy, about another 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste and allow it to cool a bit.

Assemble Pastry Boats

  • Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C). Make a stiff dough by combining water, melted butter, salt, rye and white flours in a medium bowl.
  • Shape the dough into a tight log and slice 16 portions from the log. Shape each portion into a ball. On a floured work surface, roll each ball into a thin, 6-inch disk.
  • Spoon 3 Tbls of rice porridge in the middle of the disks, to within 1-inch of the edge. Fold 2 opposite sides over the filling covering about ½-inch of the filing a leaving the center of the filing exposed. Crimp the edges and pinch the sides at each end to form a little canoe.

Bake Karelian Pies

  • Place pastries about 3 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the pastries with the melted butter and warm milk. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, brushing once during baking. Filling will be slightly browned and pastry boats golden around the edges. Remove from oven and brush again with melted butter.
  • Serve warm with the egg butter at room temperature.

Egg Butter (optional)

  • Hard boil 2 eggs. Cool, peel and chop. In a small bowl, combine warm butter and chopped eggs. Stir in white pepper and ground ginger. Serve at room temperature with a knife so individual dinners may spread over Karelin pies.


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 442IU | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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