Karelian Pasties ‒ Karjalanpiirakat

Yesterday was Finland's Independence Day. In most countries, that's a lively carnival. In Finland it has evolved into a more dignified, even pious day, largely consisting of remembering World War II and honouring the veterans who ‒ as the only nation ‒ managed to fight back against Stalin's invasion. For my generation which doesn't even remember there ever existed a place called Soviet Union it's more about gathering together some friends, burning candles, eating well, talking about new laws that threaten our freedom of speech or right to privacy and of course, laughing at the dresses of the president's ball that YLE broadcasts every year.

While others played a game where you get a point every time you know a name of a ball guest and another one from knowing the reason they're invited I pinched up some Karelian pasties. From numerous hand-size Karelian pie types these are the ones that have an almost iconic status so I thought they'd make an appropriate snack for Independence Day. They have a thin rye crust and just about anything as a filling. Nowadays rice porridge is the filling number one and potato second but barley, talkkuna, buckwheat, carrot or rutabaga would make them a bit more "authentic" (what a terrible word). They can even have a sweet berry porridge inside. This time I used a simple turnip filling and a crust recipe straight from a flour bag.

The crust:
- 5.5 dl sifted rye flour (if you can only find normal kind you should replace some of it with wheat flour)
- 2 dl water
- 2 teaspoons salt

The rest:
- 1 kg turnip
- white pepper
- 100 g margarine
- 1 dl oat milk

Cook the turnips. Peel and mash them together with the pepper and half the margarine. While the filling cools down, mix the crust ingredients together with your hands. Roll the paste into a thin layer (use extra flour generously so it won't stick). Take circular pieces from the layer with the help of a floured water glass.

Now roll each circle into an oval. Lay a spoonful of turnip mash on it and fold the edges with your index finger and thumb, from both sides simultaneously, pinching "wrinkles" on the filling as you go along. Bake about fifteen minutes in a 275ºC oven.

Melt the rest of the margarine and add the milk into it. Butter the oven-fresh pastries from both sides and lay them into a bowl over each other. Cover with a towel and let them soften up for about an hour.

Serve hot or cold, perhaps together with tar syrup.

Nutritional values / 1785 g:
energy 2084 kcal
fat 82 g
protein 48 g
carbohydrates 284 g
fiber 78 g


  1. Your pasties look so perfect! I love the combination of rye and turnip/rutabaga.

  2. waw. nice post. i like it.. im from philippines. try to check my post. tnx. godbless you..

  3. Okriina, though I'm sure they wouldn't look perfect with a closer look, I did surprise myself. :)

    Iron-hold, so great if you like my writing that must sound rather exotic for you. But which post do you mean I should check? I see you're writing several blogs.

  4. You forgot one of the most important accompaniments for non-vegans or lacto-ovo veggies: munavoi! :D


  5. First of all, that hardly pairs with turnip. Second of all, please read the purpose explanation in the heading of this blog.


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