Kaalipiirakka (Cabbage Pasty)

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If you’re Spanish you might have empanadas, if you’re Polish pierogis, Italian raviolis, and if you’re Finnish kaalipiirakka (cabbage pasty). I was reading a Finnish cookbook today and came across this recipe. I didn’t grow up eating these but I might have. These would be served as an accompaniment to soup or as a bread side with a meal. I think they would be great with tomato soup!  Bread is a mainstay of the Finnish diet…and true to his heritage my grandfather could not eat a meal without bread. I remember both of my grandparents eating bread slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt.

These little cabbage pasties are fairly easy to make. The slightly sweet pastry dough and the savory cabbage are a nice combination. They might be tasty with a dip of some kind…I’ll have to work on that. Suggestions??

Yeast Pastry ingredients:

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm

1 tsp salt

1 egg, well beaten

1/2 cup sugar

4-4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup melted butter

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Dissolve the yeast in the water. Beat the egg well with a whisk.

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Combine the milk, salt, egg, and sugar in a large bowl.

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Add the yeast and 2 cups of flour and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and elastic.

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Stir in the butter until blended. Add the remaining flour and mix until you have a stiff dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. About 5 minutes.

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Place dough in a lightly buttered bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise in a draft free place until doubled in size. Punch down and let rise again for about 30 minutes. While dough is rising make your filling.

Filling Ingredients:

4 T butter

2 cups sauerkraut drained

2 medium onions sliced thin

2 T brown sugar

1 tsp caraway seeds

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In a heavy skillet melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is tender and beginning to caramelize.

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Add the sauerkraut, sugar, and caraway seed. Stir until well blended and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Our filling is ready.

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Preheat your oven to 375.

Now you’re ready to roll your dough and fill your kaalipiirakka. Divide the dough into thirds and roll the dough about 1/3 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Use a glass or cookie/biscuit cutter on the dough. I used a scalloped cutter but round would work just fine.

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Brush each circle with half and half to moisten the edges for sealing. Put a tsp of filling in the center of a disc, put a second disc on top and crimp the edges with a fork.

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(The amount of filling in each will actually depend on the size of your discs). Brush each filled and crimped kaalipiirakka with half n half and cut a little steam vent in the center. Put on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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Bake for 15 or 20 minutes until golden brown.

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You’ll have extra filling. Just get out a fork and finish it off. Tastes great!!

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