Part of the fun of travelling is being introduced to new foods that you are unsure of and ultimately find you engaging with the locals to offer you a lead as to what to do next. (The latter is highly recommended if your travelling with us. You could find yourself taking some pre-ride fuelling inspiration from an ever-hungry Jo Burt, the master of the 5-course’ fusion’ breakfast. Think giant Frankfurter Sausages on Cereal with Jam/Nutella). 

We first came across these Finnish pies on a breakfast buffet in Helsinki. We had no idea what they were and tried them with everything. These flat, half jacket potato, moccasin slipper style snacks got an instant thumbs up from us. Better still they wrapped nicely in a paper napkin and could perfectly fit into one’s back pocket or musette bag for nibbling on later in the day. 

It turns out that these traditional savoury pies have been around in Finland in several varieties since 1686. They have been created to differing recipes over the years depending on what ingredients have been available.

We were eating the most traditional variety. Pies made with a thin rye base and a rice filling accompanied by munavoi, egg butter. The latter is one of the most popular innovations in Finnish cuisine, a mixture of butter and chopped hard-boiled egg.

Karelia’s pies became a symbol of Karelian culture in the 1900s. To the point of being present in many pastry shops in the main cities.

It is said that after the Winter War and Continuation War in Finland with the Soviet Union, the rural population of Savo visited a woman who ran a bakery. She offered them the Karelian pies and they were delighted with both the cakes and the kind gesture of that woman. It was from that moment onwards when this cake became part of Finland’s cultural heritage. 


Photos: Breakaway Digital 

Location: Rpm90 HQ Sussex



  • 250ml of water
  • 130g short-grain rice
  • 200ml Whole milk
  • salt 


  • 65 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 130g Rye flour
  • 30g plain flour
  • 100g soft salted butter
  • 2 Hard-boiled eggs – chopped
  • 1 pinch black pepper

plus melted butter



  • In a saucepan combine the water and rice. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir, cover, and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the milk, cover, and continue cooking until the milk is completely absorbed and the rice is soft and creamy.
  • Preheat oven to 220°C
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

For the Pastry:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the water, salt, and rye and white flours to make a stiff dough.
  • Shape the dough into a log and cut into 16 portions and shape each into a round.
  • On a lightly floured board, roll out each round into a 6-inch circle.
  • Spread about 3 tablespoons of filling evenly on each round.
  • Fold two opposite edges of the pastry over the filling and crimp the edges of the dough toward the centre to make an oval-shaped pastry, allowing about 1/2-inch of the crust to overlay the filling and leaving the centre of the filling exposed.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and hot milk and brush on the pastries.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, brushing once during baking until the pastries are golden on the edges.
  • Remove from the oven and brush again.

For the Egg Butter:

  • In a small bowl, cream the butter. Stir in the eggs.
  • Season with the black pepper.
  • Cool the pastries and serve with the egg butter at room temperature. Probably don’t put the egg butter in your pocket :0