September 23, 2012

Rahkapiirakka - Finnish Quark Pie


There are a few things any Finn living overseas will miss from his/her home country: sauna, salted licorice and rye bread are usually on top of that list, but quark (maitorahka) will most likely also make the top 5.

I've been looking for 'proper' quark since arriving to Australia almost seven years ago. I've tried using thick yoghurt and smooth ricotta in place of quark, but they never quite had the same flavour or texture of the quark I used to get back in Finland. Recently I found 'German style' quark in my local green grocer and I was keen to try how it would work out in a traditional Finnish recipe: quark pie.

This pie is certainly rich and lemony, but such a perfect treat for a sunny weekend afternoon.

Hope you are all having a lovely relaxing weekend!

Koti-ikävän iskiessä tulee tarve leipoa perinteisiä suomalaisia herkkuja. Löysin paikallisesta ruokakaupasta saksalaistyyppistä maitorahkaa ja päätin kokeilla miten se toimisi rahkapiirakassa. Tuloksena makean sitruunainen ja täyteläinen piirakka. Täydellinen herkku viikonlopun kahvihetkiin!  




Rahkapiirakka - Finnish Quark Pie*
(Recipe adapted from maku.fi)

Base

250ml milk
11g dry yeast
120g raw caster sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon ground cardemom
1/2 teaspoon salt
480-500g plain flour
100g butter

Filling

450g quark
300ml thickened cream
3 eggs
160g raw caster sugar
75ml lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon raw vanilla sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground pure vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
90g sultanas/raisins

1 egg, for brushing

* All ingredients are organic, eggs are organic and free-range, butter is unsalted. Quark is organic and biodynamic (German style) from B.-d. Farm Paris Creek.

1. Start with the base. Warm up the milk to about 42C. Mix yeast with a small amount of flour and whisk the mixture into the warm milk. Add sugar, salt, cardamom and egg. Whisk well to combine. Add flour bit by bit, kneading to form a smooth and elastic dough. Add soft butter towards the end of the kneading. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to double in size.

2. Turn the dough on a sheet of baking paper and roll to a size of a large baking sheet. Using the baking paper, lift the dough on the baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.

3. In the mean while, preheat oven to 200C and prepare the filling. 

4. For the filling, combine all ingredients except for the raisins in a large bowl. Whisk well to make a smooth texture, then add the raisins.

5. Brush the edges of the base with the egg. Pour the filling on to the base and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the edges are brown and the filling feels firm to touch. Leave to cool completely before cutting. This pie can be frozen.

27 comments:

  1. Quark is easy to get in the UK but I have not seen it here in France. This sounds so delicious, just to my taste I think Take care Diane

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  2. Terrific! I love quark. In Switzerland we made something very similar...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Love it! It's really hard to find quark here in Singapore as well!

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  4. We have delicious German quark down here in Tasmania - http://www.elgaarfarm.com.au/Products/Fresh%20Cheese/Organic%20Quark%20%28Topfen%29.htm

    The website hasn't been updated in a very long time (they changed their packaging about 2 years ago!) so there aren't any Sydney places listed, but I know that there's an organic grocer in King St, Newtown, which sells it! There might be somewhere near to you as well?

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  5. Interesting recipe! I bet it tastes so good!

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  6. The pie looks so luxuriously creamy and comforting. Quark isn't common here but I've seen it occasionally in gourmet or organic shops, and I know a cafe which serves it for breakfast - gotta try it sometime!

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  7. Looks delicious Maria, I can't wait to give it a try! Schulz Organic Dairy in Timboon (http://www.schulzorganicfarms.com.au/) make a lovely quark that we're lucky enough to get at our farmers' markets here in Melbourne. I'm not sure whether they supply anywhere in NSW, but definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

    x Em

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  8. Samaistun noihin Suomi-ikäviin, onneksi sauna ja ruisleipä on osa täkäläistä kulttuuria, ja rahkaa ja salmiakkia on myös saatavilla.
    Todella kauniita valokuvia - oikein hemaiseva rahkapiirakka!

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  9. I have been graving Rahkapiirakka, but we don't have quark in Dubai. I have googled the substitute, it does not come same. I love your blog, style is exactly how I see Finland, simple, lean, contemporary, white and modern. Rahkapiirakka looks just delicious.

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  10. I have been graving Rahkapiirakka, but we don't have quark in Dubai. I have googled the substitute, it does not come same. I love your blog, style is exactly how I see Finland, simple, lean, contemporary, white and modern. Rahkapiirakka looks just delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have been graving Rahkapiirakka, but we don't have quark in Dubai. I have googled the substitute, it does not come same. I love your blog, style is exactly how I see Finland, simple, lean, contemporary, white and modern. Rahkapiirakka looks just delicious.

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  12. This looks great Maria :) Is there a savoury version?

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  13. Oh, this looks so familiar from my childhood! And am so glad to get the recipe for the base you are using: quite new to me! Thanks :) ! Since I kind'of live in an Estonian/Finnish/German area SSW of Sydney: quark methinks we can 'do'!!

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  14. I love that you're writing more and more about Finnish recipes! I certainly want to learn more about the food of Finland.

    How does the German quark compare to the Finnish quark?

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    1. Thank you Sasha, glad to hear you're enjoying the recipes!

      It is very similar, both are low-fat and smooth in texture.

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  15. This looks good! My boyfriend is Finnish and is coming home from a two week trip, I would like to make him a classic Finnish meal! What would be the perfect meal, he does love meatballs!

    bonjoureats.blogspot.com

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  16. Looks so delicious! I was impressed by the amount of cardamom (1 tbsp) this must make the pie really heady with that flavor!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, the base is a traditional cinnamon roll dough which uses a good amount of cardamom!

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  17. In Lithuania we have it too. I live in USA now and have a hard time finding ingredients. It tastes awesome!

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  18. Panu said you invited him over for this haha he said to me he wished you guys lived closer :) he misses all these Finnish things.. I really should learn to make them huh???

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  19. I´ve never tasted anything like this before, but I can tell by the ingredients and your stunning photos that it has to be good. Looks unbelievable moist and tasty! I have to try this! I didn´t know quark was a typical Finnish thing, but as a Norwegian in Denmark, I´ve experienced many similarities between the scandinavian/nordic countries - but many differences as well!

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  20. Rahkapiirakka this brings back memories! I will definitely make this. I have my aitin Suomalainen recipe book here with me. It is quite old and has all the traditional Finnish recipes in it. I love your blog with all the Finnish sprinkled throughout!

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  21. Hi Maria,

    I can HIGHLY reccommend a brand called Paris Creek. They're a biodynamic and organic dairy based somewhere in South Australia. They have both German and Swiss Quark varieties (I like the full fat Swiss) and they're absolutely delicious and natural (just cultures and milk). You can really taste that it's good quality milk. I live in Brisbane and we sell them at my work (a health food store) and various other health food stores. Maybe do a Google search for them and email them to find where your closest stockists are.

    I'm dying to travel to Northern Europe. I love so many of the flavours and foods that come from there. One day ...

    Enjoy the Quark - hope you can find some :)

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    1. Thanks! Paris Creek is what I used in this recipe (mentioned above). It had a similar texture to the Finnish one, but slightly different flavour. Worked well in this recipe, however!

      Maria

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  22. Upea blogi! Sait juuri uuden lukijan. :)

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