Monday, April 16, 2012

Finnish Cheese Tarts (Rahkapiirakat)

Pastry after rising once
1/2 c. milk
3 Tbsp. warm water (110 degrees F)
1 envelope dry yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
2-2 1/2 c. flour
6 Tbsp. butter, softened

2 c. ricotta cheese
Pastry after second rising
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp. milk

Filling and glaze

To make the pastry:  Heat the milk in a saucepan until small bubbles form on the side of the pan. Let cool to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add to the milk along with the sugar, salt, and egg. Mix well. Add half the flour and beat well with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the flour and knead well. Add the softened butter in small pieces and knead until it has incorporated into the dough. Place the dough into a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.
Ready to fill
Knead the dough again on a lightly floured board, and divide into 9-12 pieces. Roll each pieces into a round bun, and place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper, or lightly greased. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise again, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

To make the filling: Stir all the filling ingredients together well. After the rolls are ready for baking, take a flat-bottomed drinking glass about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and press the bottom in the middle of the bun, spreading the bun out and forming a hollow in the middle.

To make the glaze: Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush the edges with the glaze.
Out of the oven!

Fill the middle with a full tablespoon (or more, however much will fit) of the cheese mixture. Bake the tarts for 15-20 minutes, or until nicely browned and the cheese filling is set.

From The Best of Finnish Cooking