2 cups rye flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup cold water
Mix together the flours and salt. Add the melted butter and water and mix until well combined. Knead for about four minutes and then let rest for at least ten minutes.
1 1/2 cup arborio or other short grain white rice
2 cups water
3 cups (plus or minus) whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse rice. Using a deep frying pan or large pot, combine water and rice and simmer together for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once water has been mostly absorbed, begin adding milk a half cup at a time, stirring. Keep adding milk until the rice is tender and creamy.
Egg Butter Topping
1/4 cup soft butter (not melted)
3 hard boiled eggs
salt and pepper
Mash together (I use a pastry blender) and spoon over top of pies just before serving. Alternatively, top with jam.
Piirakka make great snacks to pack for adventures. The egg topping doesn't travel well in cold weather, so we opted for blueberry jam for our recent hike to Mazukama falls, stopping in the cedar grove for some tea and a bite to eat.
Karjalanpiirakka are named after an historical province of Finland now divided between Finland and Russia. Karjala, or Karelia, was the site of a Communist utopian settlement that saw many Finnish Canadians from Northwestern Ontario return to the area with plans to build a dream society. Sadly, most disappeared into labour camps -- or worse -- during the 1930's. After the Winter War of 1939-1940 between Finland and Russia, most of Karelia was occupied by Russia and the Finns of the area were displaced.
If you're interested in the connection to Northwestern Ontario history, check out Sheba films' documentary Letters from Karelia.