Wednesday 21 February 2018

Recipes: Finnish, Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish blueberry pie)

Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie). Photo: Valerie O'Connor.
Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie). Photo: Valerie O'Connor.
Fruit on the Table by Theresa Storey, available from all good bookshops from 30th May. Published by The O'Brien Press, priced €19.99/£16.99

This is actually a sweet yeast cake bread, not a pie. Have it for tea!

This recipe is from my friend Katrina, whose mom is Finnish. It takes a bit of time to make, but it's so worth it. Make it with fraughans (wild blueberries) if you can find them. They are very fiddly to pick but are well worth the effort.

Serves 6-8


60g (2oz) sugar

60g (2oz) soft butter

¼ tsp ground cardamom seeds

1 tsp salt

125ml (4½ fl oz) warm milk

125ml (4½ fl oz) hand-hot water

1 tbsp active dried yeast

1 egg (beaten)

480g (1lb 1oz) plain flour

450g (1lb) blueberries

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cornflour

Zest of 1 lemon (if you are using cultivated blueberries)


Put the sugar, butter, cardamom and salt into a large bowl. Add the milk and stir with a whisk until well blended.

Mix the hand-hot water and yeast together and slowly add to the milk mixture, stirring all the time. Add the egg.

Put half the flour into the bowl of liquids and blend it in. Then add the rest in four stages, until the dough holds together but is still soft. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it for at least 5 minutes until it is smooth and the surface springs back when poked with your finger.

Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and let rise for about an hour in a warm place until it doubles in size. Punch this down to let the air out and let it rest for another 15 minutes. Now it's ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas 5) and grease a 25cm (10in) pie dish or cake pan. Fill the pan with the dough as if you were making a pizza. Push the dough up the sides of the dish to create a space in the centre for the filling.

Mix the blueberries, sugar, cornflour and lemon zest (if using) in a bowl, then pour into the centre of the dough. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is risen and golden brown. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving as the molten blueberries can give a nasty mouth burn. (I know - I was too greedy to wait.)

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