Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mummi Hukka's Karelian Pasties or Karjalan Piirakat

As some of you know, I have a Finnish connection. For over half my life, I've had a rather odd obsession with the country, its quirky inhabitants and even quirkier language. I lived there for half a year, going to the university in Helsinki. This quintessential Finnish dish is a comfort food for Finns and foreign exchange students like me alike. I'd often duck into Stockmann's bakery on the way to school and pick up one or two of these as a quick lunch.

Mummi Hukka is a good Finnish friend's grandmother, and the origin of this recipe. It's been made time and time again for years, so it's absolutely perfect!

These pasties are truly delicious any which way you eat them. Fresh, warm, or cold, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, with munavoi (chopped hardboiled eggs in melted butter), butter, or a slice of cheese.

They can also be made with mashed potato filling, but I happened to have leftover rice after dinner today (I added milk, and boiled, simmered, added more milk, until I got a porridge out of it) .

2 dl cold water
1 tsp salt
2 dl wheat flour
3 dl rye flour

Mix well, and roll out, thinly and evenly, atop a floured surface

3 dl water
2 dl rice
8 dl milk
half a tsp salt

Bring to a boil, then simmer until you've got a good rice porridge

Check out the pictures for the next steps.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees Celsius.
Bake for about 15 minutes.
Moisten them with milk just after you take them out of the oven.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sloe (Slow) Gin

Just across the street from us is the Copenhagen version of Central Park. I've plucked my elderflowers there for over ten years now, but only just last year did I stumble across a patch of sloe bushes (trees?).

I put my boys to work the other day, and held the branches low so their nimble little fingers could grab as many ripening berries as possible. I say ripening, since sloe berries are only truly "done" after the first good frost. I dare not wait for it, since I'm certainly not the only good woman in this burrough looking forward to her own sloe brew.

So, you pluck them as late in the season as you dare. then freeze them yourself overnight. This breaks down their bitterness, and gets them ready to languish in the spirits of your choice for three months. I use gin.

This recipe is an idea gleaned from several sources.
400-500 grams of sloe berries, washed, frozen overnight, and thawed.
100 grams of sugar.
1 bottle of gin.

Shake daily until the sugar is dissolved.
Store a dark place for 3 (THREE!) whole months.
Strain through a sieve, then a cheesecloth.

I've yet to taste this, it's my very first try with the sloe. I'll probably just enjoy it straight up, but if you have any suggestions for use in a cocktail, do pipe up!