Kare­lian Rice Pud­ding Pies

MAKES 16; Photo pg. 62

SAVEUR - - Contents -

Ac­tive: 1 hr. 30 min. • To­tal: 2 hr. Eaten through­out Fin­land as a snack dur­ing the traditional af­ter­noon cof­fee break, these pas­tries con­sist of a sim­ple rye flour and wa­ter dough tucked around a thick, creamy rice fill­ing and topped with a salty but­ter mixed with chopped hard-boiled eggs. In this recipe, adapted from the au­thor’s friend, lo­cal Fin­nish cook­ing teacher Miriam Ylin­iemi, ex­tra melted but­ter is brushed on the pas­tries be­fore, dur­ing, and af­ter bak­ing for a richer-tast­ing, crispier dough.

FOR THE DOUGH: 2 cups (9½ oz.) rye flour, plus more for dust­ing 1 cup (5 oz.) all-pur­pose flour 1 tsp. kosher salt 6 Tbsp. (3 oz.) un­salted but­ter, melted FOR THE FILL­ING: 3 cups whole milk 1 cup sushi rice 3 Tbsp. (1½ oz.) un­salted but­ter, melted ½ tsp. kosher salt Freshly ground black pep­per

FOR THE TOP­PING: 2 large eggs 6 Tbsp. (3 oz.) un­salted but­ter, soft­ened, plus 6 Tbsp., melted Salt

1 Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk the rye flour, all-pur­pose flour, and salt. Add the melted but­ter and ¾ cup plus 1 ta­ble­spoon wa­ter; stir with a fork un­til a firm dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a clean sur­face and knead un­til smooth, 2–4 min­utes. Cover with a dry towel and set aside.

2 Make the fill­ing: In a heavy-bot­tomed sauce­pot, com­bine the milk and rice; bring to a sim­mer

over medium-high heat. Im­me­di­ately lower heat to main­tain a gen­tle sim­mer, and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til the rice is ten­der, about 20 min­utes. Stir in the melted but­ter, salt, and pep­per, and re­move from the heat. Once the mix­ture is slightly cool, cover sur­face with plas­tic wrap.

3 Mean­while, pre­pare the egg but­ter for top­ping: In a medium sau­cepan, cover the eggs with cold wa­ter and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then im­me­di­ately turn off the heat and set a timer for 9 min­utes. Drain the eggs and im­me­di­ately plunge into ice wa­ter to cool com­pletely. Peel the cooled eggs, finely chop, and add to a medium bowl. Add the soft­ened but­ter, sea­son with salt to taste, and stir to com­bine.

4 Pre­heat the oven to 450°. Di­vide the dough into 16 equal pieces (about 1½ oz. each). Lightly dust a clean work sur­face with rye flour, then, us­ing a rolling pin, roll each por­tion into a cir­cle about 7 inches in di­am­e­ter. Us­ing a 6-inch round cookie cut­ter or cake pan, trim to a per­fect cir­cle. Spread 3 ta­ble­spoons of the rice fill­ing in an ob­long shape down the cen­ter of each dough cir­cle. Bring the two long outer edges of the dough to the cen­ter (the top of the rice fill­ing should re­main ex­posed), and press and pinch in places to cre­ate a scalloped, open, oval shape.

5 Lightly dust a bak­ing sheet with rye flour. Place the pies on the sheet and gen­er­ously brush the top of each with some of the melted but­ter.

6 Trans­fer to the oven and bake, brush­ing the pies with but­ter again half­way through cook­ing, un­til the pas­tries are crisp and dark­ened at the edges, 25 min­utes. Im­me­di­ately af­ter re­mov­ing from the oven, brush the pies with any re­main­ing melted but­ter. Serve warm with a healthy dol­lop of egg but­ter.

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