Rutabaga Supikases ‒ Lanttusupikkaat

Hela is the Finnish equivalent of German Wapurgisnacht or Celtic Beltane, the celebration of spring and rebirth of Lemminkäinen, the boisterous god of fertility and sacred fire. (By the way, here's a nice English introduction to traditional Finnish holidays.) The name comes from Swedish word meaning holy but I believe the original title is either Toukovalkeat ('May Fires') or Suviyöt, roughly translating as 'Summer Nights' and is also very closely connected to Ukonpäivä, celebrated for the honour of the thunder god Ukko. Judging by such relics as Ritvalan Helkajuhla, an occasion where even today young maidens wear white dresses and walk singing around a hill along a path that looks disturbingly like ukonkirves, Hela used to mark hieros gamos, the holy marriage of heaven and earth, where masculine heaven fertilizes the feminine earth with rain.

Since we don't know when exactly our ancestors celebrated Hela (with all likelyhood, there never was a fixed date) we've decided to set it for the weekend closest to the second full moon after Spring Equinox. This year it meant halfway of May. We lighted a bonfire, had a lot of sauna and sang a ton of old poems. I took my friends a double portion of these little pies.

The basic recipe is from here but I also added some fresh coriander into the filling. Even though I tried to make rather chubby pastries with much thinner crust than normally I had to stick so much of the filling into freezer for later purposes I think it would be safe to half the filling amount. This also means that the nutritional values at the end are rather overblown.

The filling:
- 1 kg rutabaga
- 50 g margarine (I used Keiju 70%)
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 0.5 dl dark syrup
- white pepper
- 2 tablespoons wheat flour

The crust:
- 1.5 dl water
- 2 dl rye flour
- 1.5 dl wheat flour
- salt

For buttering:
- 1 dl broth from cooking the rutabagas
- 25 g margarine

Cook the rutabagas in salty water. (Don't throw away the tasty broth but use it in a soup for example.) Mash them like potatoes and add the other ingredients.

Mix the crust ingredients together. Divide the paste in 16 parts. Make little balls out of them between your hands. Roll the balls into thin circles. Place a spoonful or two of the filling onto each of them, then fold them into semicircles. Close them by pressing with your (moistured) thumbs.

Put your supikases into a 275°C oven for about 15 minutes. Brush with rutabaga broth and margarine mixture. Cover with a towel.

Nutritional values / 1 supikas / 107 g:
energy 138 kcal
fat 7 g
protein 2 g
carbohydrates 16 g
fiber 3 g


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