FINLAND

The ‘Blue Cross Flag’ dates back to the 20th century and features the classic Nordic blue cross, which represents Christianity.
COUNTRYFINLAND
DishesRosolli, Mustikkapiirakka, Pulla
Time 1 hour
Effort 6/10
Rough cost £5
COUNTRY FINLAND
Capital Helsinki
Population5,536,146 (166th largest)
Land mass 338, 455 km2 (65th largest)
Languages Finnish, Swedish (recognised languages: Sami, Kalo, Karelian, et al.)
Religions70% Christian

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Finland is a Nordic country and shares borders with Sweden, Russia, and Norway. Its land cover is primarily boreal forest and it contains a whopping 180,000 lakes. Finland became inhabited in 9000 BC following the Last Glacial Period and was an active area in the Stone, Bronze and Iron Age. It is rapidly industrialised country and is a top performer in many measures of national performance: education, economy, civil liberties, development, quality of life and world human capital (1st in the world). It also has ranked top of the World Happiness Report every year since 2018!

Its cuisine is famous for combining traditional peasant fare and high cuisine into modern fusion dishes. Meat and fish feature more heavily in the west of Finland, whereas Eastern cuisine is more vegetable based. Fun fact, Finland has the world’s highest consumption per capita of coffee!

Bridget made Rosolli – a classic cold salad with the staples of potatoes, beets and carrots. It is a traditional side dish on the Finnish Christmas table. She served it up smorrebrod style with rye-bread, tofu egg-mayo and pickled cucumbers. Mwara made Mustikkapiirakka – a classic blueberry hot tart / cheesecake bit of deliciousness on a spiced cardamom crust. Everything was delicious! To top off our Finnish feast, Mwara also baked pulla, which are the Finnish version of a cinnamon roll.

RECIPES

Rosolli *vegan

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cup diced cooked beets (pickled or fresh & boiled)
  • 1 cup diced + boiled potatoes
  • 1 cup diced + boiled carrots
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • ½ cup pickles/gherkins, diced
  • Dressing: 1/2 heavy cream (we used dairy free!), 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp salt + pepper

METHOD

  1. Prepare all the vegetables and boil them in salted water until they are cooked but not mushy. Allow to cool.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and mix well.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a large serving bowl and cover with the dressing, mixing until fully incorporated. Season to taste and serve!

Mustikkapiirakka

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

  • 100g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 100g rye flour
  • 100g all purpose / plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of cardamom

Filling:

  • 250g fresh blueberries (we used frozen)
  • 250g sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp sugar

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 *celsius and butter a 10 inch tart pan, ideally one with a loose bottom.
  2. To make the crust, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Then add in the egg, and mix well.
  3. Stir in both the flours, the cardamom, and baking powder. Combine this mixture into a loose ball.
  4. Turn the dough into your greased tart pan and spread it in an even layer across the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  5. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake the empty crust for 10 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  6. To make the filling, whisk the sour cream, egg, sugar, vanilla, and cardamom together in a large bowl until it reaches a thin, pourable consistency.
  7. Spread the blueberries evenly across the cooled crust and carefully pour the filling all over the berries and spread it gently with a utensil until the crust is filled evenly.
  8. Return the tart to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the filling around the edges is set. The centre should still be a bit wobbly but largely firm.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Then serve warm or cool with ice cream or whipped cream!

Pulla (cinnamon rolls)

INGREDIENTS

Dough

  • 1 generous cup milk 
  • 1 oz fresh yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
  • 1tbsp cardamom 
  • 1tsp salt
  • 75g butter 
  • 3 cups plain flour 

Filling 

  • 75g butter
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar

METHOD

  1. Add the yeast to warm milk and mix well (got to activate that yeast!). You know the milk is warm enough if you can put your pinky finger in the milk and it not be too hot or cold.
  2. Then whisk in the sugar, vanilla sugar/extract, salt, and cardamom. Stir in the flour, one cup at a time, and a dough will begin to form.
  3. Knead the dough in the bowl until it becomes elastic. Add in the butter and continue to knead the dough for around five minutes. Form a smooth ball of dough and cover with a towel and leave in a warm place for at least 30 mins for the dough to rise & double in size.
  4. Then put the dough out on a well-floured surface and roll it out into a 40×40 cm square.
  5. Spread softened butter evenly over dough and then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top of the butter. Roll up the dough into a nice tight Swiss roll-type affair. Cut the roll up into 1/2 inch round sections with a sharp knife.
  6. Place the cinnamon rolls on a papered baking tray, cover with a towel and let them rise again for 30 minutes. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 390°F / 200°C.
  7. If you want, you can glaze the rolls at this point with one egg (whisked) and brush the tops of the rolls with the glaze. Sprinkle some more sugar on top and bake the rolls for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Allow the buns to cool briefly, make some fresh coffee and eat immediately!
Kiitos and see you in France! M + B x

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