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Mustikkapiirakka: A Taste of Finnish Summer in Blueberry Pie

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Mustikkapiirakka, or Blueberry Pie, is a beloved Finnish dessert that captures the essence of summer with its juicy blueberries and buttery crust. This classic Finnish treat is cherished for its simplicity, showcasing the natural sweetness of wild blueberries that grow abundantly in Finland’s forests. Let’s explore how to make this delightful Mustikkapiirakka and celebrate Finnish culinary tradition.

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 200g all-purpose flour
  • 100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

For the Filling:

  • 500g fresh or frozen wild blueberries
  • 100g granulated sugar (adjust based on the sweetness of the berries)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

For Garnish:

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Crust:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cubed butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, work the ingredients together until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg and gently knead the dough until it comes together into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 9-inch tart pan or pie dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

3. Roll out the Dough:

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough to the prepared tart pan or pie dish. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan, trimming any excess overhang.

4. Prepare the Filling:

  • In a mixing bowl, gently toss together the blueberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, and ground cinnamon (if using). Ensure the blueberries are evenly coated with the sugar and cornstarch mixture.

5. Assemble the Pie:

  • Pour the blueberry filling into the prepared crust, spreading it out evenly. If desired, you can create a lattice pattern with strips of dough or simply cover the filling with another layer of dough, pierced with a fork to allow steam to escape.

6. Bake the Pie:

  • Place the assembled pie on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

7. Cool and Serve:

  • Remove the Mustikkapiirakka from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Tips for Serving:

Mustikkapiirakka is often served warm or at room temperature, accompanied by a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy this delicious Finnish treat as a dessert after a summer barbecue or as a sweet indulgence with afternoon coffee.

Cultural Significance:

In Finland, blueberries are a cherished symbol of summer and are often enjoyed fresh or used in various desserts and preserves. Mustikkapiirakka reflects Finnish appreciation for locally sourced ingredients and simple, rustic baking traditions that have been passed down through generations.

Conclusion:

Mustikkapiirakka, with its buttery crust and bursting blueberry filling, offers a taste of Finnish summer in every bite. Whether enjoyed with family and friends during a festive occasion or as a treat to brighten an ordinary day, this pie embodies the joy of seasonal flavors and Finnish culinary heritage. Embrace the flavors of the Nordic region with Mustikkapiirakka and savor a slice of warmth and sweetness.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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