Fantastically Finnish Recipes


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Karelian Rye Crusted Rice-Filled Pastries (Karjalanpiirakat)

3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups dark rye flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour

Mix together water, salt and flour. Shape the dough into a long rope the thickness of your wrist and cut into 20 equal portions. Shape the pieces into round flat cakes and pile them at the side of the working table. Roll out each cake into a very thin circle. Don't pile these on top of each other, as they will stick together. Put a little of the rice pudding in the center of each pastry and fold the edges over this so a little of the white filling stays visible. Pinch the edges with regular light pinches. Bake in a hot oven (450 F) for 10 minutes. When done brush the pastries with the milk and butter mixture and leave to soften under a cloth.
Serve with plain butter or Egg Butter.

Egg Butter:

1/2 egg per person
1 tablespoon butter per person

Boil the eggs until hard. Peel and mash with a fork. Add the softened butter.

Rice pudding for the Filling:

(for 20 pastries)
1 cup water
3 cups milk
3/4 cup short grain rice (arborio, or similar)
salt to taste

Bring water and milk mixture to boil, add the rice. Simmer very slowly until cooked, about 20 minutes. Add the salt. Mix in one egg.

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Rutabaga Casserole (Lanttulaatikko)

This dish is good served with Carelian Three-Meat Stew (Karjalanpaisti) and can be reheated.
2 lb rutabages, peeled and cubed
water to cover
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup cream or milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Put rutabages into saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 25 - 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash. Blend in the remaining ingredients. Turn into a buttered 1 1/2 quart-sized baking dish. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

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Finnish Meatballs (Lihapyörykät)

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Karelian Three-Meat Stew (Karjalanpaisti)

For 10
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 4-5 hours
Oven temperature 300 F
1 lb pork
1 lb mutton
1 lb beef
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
2 onions, chopped
15 - 20 grains of allspice

Cut the meat into chunks and place in a casserole dish. Add the salt, allspaice and onions and pour over enough boiling water to just cover the meat. Cook in a slow oven until tender. Cover the dish with a lid towards the end of the cooking time.

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Pea Soup (Hernekeitto)

2 cups split peas
8 cups cold water
ham bone, ends of baked ham
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp ginger (optional)
1 tsp marjoram (optional)

Rinse peas and discard bad ones. In large saucepan or soup kettle, place peas, water, ham bone and ends, onion, carrot and seasonings. Simmer on low heat for 2 - 3 hours, covered. Stir occasionally. Remove ham bone before serving. Serves 6. This can be made ahead and stored in refrigerator or freezer. Good with croutons sprinkled on top.
If you use whole peas, not the split ones you have to soak the peas overnight in enough water to cover, drain and cook as above.

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Finnish Air Pudding (Vispipuuro)

2 cups fresh cranberries
3 cups water
1 cup sugar, more or less, according to taste
1/3 cup farina

Put cranberries and water into saucepan and boil cranberries until all are popped and juice is a nice red color. Strain, reserving juice. Add 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup farina and cook over low heat until farina has thickened the mixture. Stir to keep from sticking to bottom of pan, about 15 minutes. Puor into large bowl or leave in pan if a type that will withstand beater. Cool to room temperature. Place bowl in pan of cold water and beat with electric beaters until pink and fluffy, changing water as it warms. Serve plain with a dollop of whipped cream, or with half-and-half poured over the top.

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Frozen Cranberries with Caramel Sauce (Pakastepuolukat karamellikastikkeella)

2 cups frozen cranberries
1/3 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Put the ingredients, not the frozen cranberries, into a 1/2 gallon sauce pan. Cook the mixture stirring it constantly with a wooden fork. Pour it into a serving dish and serve with frozen cranberries.

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Finnish Oven Pancake (Pannukakku)

4 eggs
2 Tsp sugar
21/2 to 3 cups milk 1 tsp salt
11/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 425 F. In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and foamy. Add milk and salt. Stir in half the flour and beat well. The batter should have a firm structure so it can rise in the oven. Stir in the other half of the flour and keep beating for about 10 minutes
Grease well a 3-inch deep oven pan. Pour the batter into the pan and put into the oven immediately. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
The pancake will bubble and parts of it will rise. The top and sides should be brown, the insides still a little chewy
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Frozen Cranberries with Caramel Sauce (Pakastepuolukat karamellikastikkeella)

2 cups fresh cranberries
1/3 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Put the ingredients into a 1/2 gallon sauce pan. Cook the mixture stirring it constantly with a wooden fork. Pour it into a serving dish and serve with frozen cranberries.

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Finnish Easter Specialties (Mämmi)

Quote from Kutri’s Kitchen


Mämmi (Currentlynoknownequivalenceinanyotherlanguage)

This is one of those suspicious-looking Finnish kansanomaisia jälkiruokia (ethnic dessert) that have to be taken trustingly. It's really good once you get over the appearance. (Truuust me!)

6 quarts water
1 lb. malt
3 lbs. rye flour
molasses to taste
1-2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. chopped orange rind

Mix the malt and flour. In a large cooking pan (with a heavy bottom if available), heat about 2 quarts of the water and add enough of the flour/malt mix to form a thin mixture (like velli). Sprinkle with a layer of malt and flour. Cover the pan and place in a warm place to sweeten, about one hour. Now mix the sprinkled flour and malt into the mixture. Add more hot water and again a layer of flour and malt. Leave to sweeten. Repeat as often as needed to include all remaining water, flour and malt. With the last addition, season the mämmi to taste with molasses and orange rind. Cook for about 10 mins., stirring constantly. Whip till cooled. Place in low pans (ah, to have those birch bark mämmituokkoset available). Do not fill too full, because mämmi will rise in the oven. Bake in moderate oven for about 1-2 hours. Temperatures that are too low during cooking and baking tend to make the mämmi bitter. Baked mämmi will be cooled quickly and served with cold cream and sugar. Hyvää ruokahalua!

***To bring Finnish pääsiäinen (Easter) to your table, grow some rye grass in a large pan (start about 2-3 weeks before Easter, inside, of course) and place feathery little toy chickies in it. Don't forget to look for pussy willows to include in your arrangements of tulips, narcissi, crocuses and lilies, or let them go solo! Yellow is the color for pääsiäinen, so go for it!***

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Finnish Vappu Specialties (Sima and Tippaleivät)

Quote from Kutri’s Kitchen


In Finland, the spring is officially welcomed on May 1, when the holiday called vappu is celebrated. It is the day of parades for the Labor Party as well as local army and fire station units. This is also a special day for all high school graduates—not a small feat for the kids in Finland— when the young and the old don their white ylioppilas caps, some looking rather yellow from years of storage in the attic. Part of the celebrations is vappuhuiskat, pom-poms that come in all sorts of colors and are waved in celebration of the arrival of spring.


Place in a large bowl, preferably something with a tight lid:

1 lemon's outer rind ("zest")
1 lb. sugar
1 gallon boiling water
1 env. dried yeast
juice from the lemon
raisins, sugar to add into the bottles

Rinse and dry lemon, grate its outer yellow peal. Place in the container. Add the sugar and water. Cover the container and let the mixture cool. When lukewarm, add yeast and juice. Let stand for two days. Sima is then poured into bottles through a sieve. Add 1 tsp. sugar and a couple of raisins in each bottle. Cap each bottle tightly and place in a cool place. After about a week or two, the raisins will have floated to the top, which is a good indication that sima is ready for your enjoyment. So—enjoy! (Be careful not to let it ferment too long, or you might enjoy it too much!)

Tippaleivät (Drop Cookies)

2 eggs 1 Tbs sugar
2 c lukewarm milk
2 envelopes dry yeast
1 lb cake flour (white flour)
oil for cooking

Dissolve yeast in the milk. Mix the eggs and sugar well, but do not beat. Add the milk and flour, mixing well. Let rise till about double in volume. Heat the oil in a large pan, and sink place a ladel in it so that it fills with oil about half way. Using a paper funnel, squeeze about 2 Tbs batter into the ladel, forming a criss-cross on top of the oil. Cook till browned, turn over and cook the other side. Drain on a paper towel. When the tippaleivät are cool, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Serve with sima.

May Day Cookies (Tippaleivät)

-         2 eggs
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 dl milk
- 4 dl flour
- ½ tsp vanillin


To fry:
vegetable or coconut oil

Mix the eggs and sugar, but don't beat! Add the other ingredients and stir into a smooth batter.

Put the batter into a paper cone or a pastry bag fitted with a small-holed nozzle.

Squeeze the batter in a thin band into the hot oil. Use a spiral motion to form nest-like cookies. If possible, use a metal ring in the pot to keep the cookies in shape.

When the cookies have turned golden brown, remove and drain them on paper towels.

Dust the cold cookies with powdered sugar.

Suomalaiset Munkit

3dl maitoa

 1rkl hiivaa

 0,5tl suolaa


1dl sokeria

50g pehmeätä voita

8dl vehnäjauhoja

Liota hiiva kädenlämpöiseen maitoon. Sekoita muut ainekset ja vaivaa

taikina. Anna kohota puolisen tuntia lämpöisessä paikassa. Leivo jauhotetuin

käsin munkkeja ja anna niidenkin kohota molemmin puolin noin 15

minuttia.Paista 170-180 asteisessa öljyssä ja sokeroi.


6 dl vehnäjauhoja

2 tl leivinjauhetta

¼ tl suolaa

2 munaa

sitruunan raastettu kuori

1 1/2 sokeria

1/4 raastettua muskottipahkinaa

2dl maitoa

2rkl voisulaa (tai margariinia)

Jauhot ja leivinjauhe seka suola sekoitetaan, munat ja sokeri

vatkataan, raastettu muskottipähkinä, sitruunakuoriraaste, jauhot ja

maito listään sekä viimeiseksi voisula. Taikinasta muodostetaan sormen

paksuisia tankoja, jotka tehdään rinkilöiksi ja keitetään heti kuumassa

rasvassa (kooksrasvassa muistaakseni).

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Finnish Fingers (Finska Pinnar)

1 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

¼ tsp. almond extract

2½ cups flour

1 egg, beaten

2 Tbsp. sugar, Pearl sugar if you have

15 blanched almonds, finely chopped 

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add almond extract and flour. Mix thoroughly. Chill. Roll out to ½ “ thickness and cut into 2” strips. Brush with beaten egg.  Mix pearl sugar and chopped almonds and sprinkle on top. Bake at 325 F for 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden yellow. Makes about 55 cookies.

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Tiger Cake (Tiikerikakku)

200 g margarine
2 dl sugar
3 eggs
3 dl flour
2 tsp vanilla sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3 tblsp milk
2-3 tblsp cocoa

Carefully butter and flour a cake tin. Beat fat and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each one. Add the baking powder and vanilla sugar to the flour and stir in slowly. Put one-third of the mixture in another bowl and add 2-3 tblsp of sifted cocoa and 3 tblsp of milk.

Put the mixture into the prepared cake in tin in layers, beginning and ending with the plain mixture. Bake at 175 °C for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Coffee Bread Ring (Pulla)

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Rising time: 1-l/2 + 1-1/2 hours
Baking time: about 30 minutes Oven temperature: 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)
Suitable for freezing

2 eggs
2/3 cup (2 dl) sugar
2 cups (1/2 l) milk
1-1/2 oz (50 g) yeast
3 tsp salt
1 tablespoon crushed cardamom
1/2 lb (250 g) butter or margarine or
 3/4 cup (2 dl) cooking oil
about 2-1/4 lb (1 kg) white flour
1/3 cup (1 dl) raisins
Egg yolk for glazing
Almonds for decorating

1. Get the ingredients for the dough ready in the kitchen the previous evening. If they are cold the dough will take too long to rise.

2. Heat the milk to hand temperature.

3. Beat up the eggs and sugar, add the milk, yeast, salt and cardamom. If oil is to be used, add it at this stage.

4. Add enough of the flour to give a thick, elastic mixture. Beat it vigorously to get air into the dough. This will enhance the glutination of the flour and make the dough rise well.

5. Mix in the rest of the flour and finally the butter or margarine. Knead the dough until it separates completely from your hands and sides of the bowl. Add the raisins just before shaping the ring.

6. If you make the dough with an electric dough mixer, follow closely the instructions for preparing dough.

7. Cover the dough with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place. When the dough has doubled in bulk, place on a lightly floured surface and knead well. Add the raisins.

8. Form the ring by braiding together three or four strands of dough. If you think it is too difficult to make a ring like this, form into two or three separate curved sections and place on a baking tray.

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Aunt Hanna's Biscuits (Hanna-tädin pikkuleivät)

150 g melted butter or margarine
3 dl sugar
3 dl cornflour
4 dl plain flour
1 1/2 dl (sour) cream
1 tsp soda

Mix all ingredients together and leave until firm. Shape the dough into long rolls. Cut the rolls into pieces of equal size and form into small balls. Bake at 200 °C until golden.

Christmas Glogg (Jouluglögi)

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