Karelian Rice Piirakka

1_optBy Kathy Toivonen

Rice Pudding for Filling
1 cup uncooked short grain white rice
1 cup water (or just enough to cover the rice)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

Combine above in the top pot of a double boiler. Cook over boiling water from the bottom pot until the water is absorbed by the rice in the top pot. Then add 4 cups milk and 2 teaspoons sugar.

Simmer for two hours or until all the milk is absorbed. Stir occasionally until the rice is creamy. Take off heat and then stir in 1 cup cream.

In a bowl, combine:
1½ cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups rye flour

Mix well and then add 1½ cups white flour. Knead until smooth.

Separate the dough into 24 small balls. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball to about 6 inches in diameter on a floured surface.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of the rice filling on the dough and then fold and pinch the edges. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes.

In a saucepan, melt and keep warm:
¼ cup butter
1 cup milk

Dip the piirakka in the mixture of butter and milk and then set aside to allow time to absorb the liquid. Makes 24 piirakkas.

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By Kathy Toivonen