Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie). This month we're traveling to Finland on the "Eat The World" train. Mustikkapiirakka is an iconic dessert that can be found in almost every cafe or restaurant in Finland. Not a pie in the sense we know it, Mustikkapiirakka is a cross between a pie, a tart, and a cheesecake.
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Mustikkapiirakka, a difficult name to pronounce, but very easy to remember once you try it. With a crumbly base made with a combination of rye flour and all-purpose flour, and a luscious sour cream and blueberry filling, this Finnish Blueberry Pie will become your go-to summer dessert.
All in all, I am always happy when our Eat the World group stops in my beloved Europe. I walk on familiar ground, and even though, I have never been to Finland, I was lucky to visit to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden. They all seem to have in common a cuisine renowned for being simple but delicious and sourced straight from nature.
To explain, in Finland, they traditionally use bilberries to make Mustikkapiirakka. Bilberries are forest berries native to Europe, smaller than North American blueberries, although the species are closely related and belong to the same genus, Vaccinium. Bilberries grow singly or in pairs, rather than in clusters as blueberries do, and blueberries have more evergreen leaves.
Grab a Bucket and Go Berry-Picking!
I wish I grabbed a bucket in my hand and headed into the Finnish woods to pick these wonderful purplish jewels. Instead, with Loreto, we headed to our local Farmers Market and stopped at our favorite vendor, Fresh BC Fruit, where we bought organic blueberries coming from our neighboring, warmer, Province, British Columbia.
As a matter of fact, use whatever blueberries you can find, keeping in mind that wild blueberries are smaller and therefore more flavorful and aromatic than the cultivated ones, and much closer to bilberries, which makes them ideal for pie filling.
Steps of the preparation
There are few steps involved, but overall the preparation is pretty easy.
I started by making the crust, which consists of:
- a combination of rye flour and all-purpose flour,
- cane sugar,
- baking powder,
- and a pinch of cardamom. In Finland they love cardamom, and I must have been Finnish in one of my previous lives, because I use it quite a lot, too, lol. Plus, it marries so well with blueberries!
The dough is soft and must be pressed and spread in the tart pan with your hands, then pricked with a fork and pre-baked, empty, for 10 minutes.
Next, the fresh blueberries go on top of the par-baked crust.
While the crust is blind baking, which is another term for pre-baking an empty crust, I made the creamy filling, which is a combination of:
- sour cream
- cane sugar
all whisked together to obtain a thin, luscious, aromatic cream.
Fill, and bake again!
In short, you have the pre-baked crust and the fresh blueberries spread on top. Now you carefully pour the filling over and around the berries and spread gently with a spatula until the crust is filled evenly. Return to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the middle is set, but not too dry and firm. It will dense up as it cools down. Leave it in the pan to cool for 40 minutes. This will seem like an eternity...
Why buy expensive essential oil diffusers when you can bake? While this Finnish Blueberry Pie is in the oven baking, your whole house will smell delicious. Wafts of vanilla and cardamom, together with the familiar butter/ sugar fragrance of baked goods will spread around, enveloping you in a cozy, joyful embrace.
The Taste Test
Finally, after the waiting time, I can slice it and taste it. Oh, my...where have you been all my life Mustikkapiirakka?? You seem to possess everything I love in a dessert. You are so close to my darling crostata, with your crumbly and a bit crunchy crust. And you are not too sweet, which is my number one requisite in any dessert. Your filling is what dreams are made of. A soft and luxurious tangy cream, with hints of vanilla and cardamom, and plump blueberries, that like little jewels explode in my mouth in a most cheerful way.
The first day the crust is crunchy and a nice contrast to the creamy filling. As days pass, the moisture in the filling makes the crust softer and more similar to cheesecake in texture.
Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie) is outstanding either warm or cold and can be served plain, with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. It doesn't disappoint any way you have it!
Before going to the kitchen to make this amazing pie, check out all the wonderful Finnish dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!
Pandemonium Noshery: Vispipuuro - Whipped Semolina Pudding
Nicoletta & Loreto Sugarlovespices (us!): Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie)
Margaret at Kitchen Frau: Lohikeitto (Creamy Salmon, Potato & Dill Soup)
Tara’s Multicultural Table: Makaronilaatikko (Finnish Macaroni Casserole)
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie)
Amy: Sima (Finnish Lemonade)
Sharanya Sara's Tasty Buds: Voisilmapulla(Finnish Butter Eye Buns)
Evelyne: Pannukakku Finnish Pancakes with Blueberries
Sue: Lattyja Pancakes with Strawberry-Gooseberry Jam
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Lihapullat (Finnish Meatballs)
Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie)
Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie). This month we're traveling to Finland on the "Eat The World" train. Mustikkapiirakka is an iconic dessert that can be found in almost every cafe or restaurant in Finland. Not a pie in the sense we know it, Mustikkapiirakka is a cross between a pie, a tart, and a cheesecake. With a crumbly base I made with a combination of rye flour and all-purpose flour, and a luscious sour cream and blueberry filling, this Blueberry Pie is a wonderful Summer dessert.
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
For the crust:
- 100 g (¼ cup + 3 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature*
- 100 g (⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp) cane or granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 100 g (⅔ cup) rye flour
- 100 g (⅔ cup) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of cardamom
For the filling:
- 250 g (1 heaping cup) fresh blueberries
- 250 g (1 cup) sour cream
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 Tbsp cane sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly butter a 28 cm (10″) tart pan with removable bottom.
For the crust:
- Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light.
- Add in the egg, and mix.
- Stir in the flours, pinch of cardamom, and baking powder just until combined into a pliable ball.
- Place the soft dough onto your greased pan and use your hands to spread it into an even layer across the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- Poke the bottom with a fork and bake the empty crust for 10 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
For the Filling:
- While your crust bakes, in a bowl whisk together the sour cream, egg, sugar, vanilla, and cardamom. The filling will have a thin, pourable consistency.
- Spread the blueberries evenly across the blind baked crust. Carefully pour the filling over and around the berries and spread gently with a spatula until the crust is filled evenly.
- Carefully return to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, according to your oven, or until the edges are golden brown and the filling around the edges is set. The center should not look like uncooked liquid, but neither too dry and firm.
- Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for about 30 mins.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream or whipped cream if you like, maybe with a few extra berries on top.
* It is considered room temperature a temperature around 20–22 °C (68–72 °F).
The tart will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and the crust will soften as the days pass, due to the moisture in the filling.
I baked it again mixing blueberries and raspberries.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Dessert, Cakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: European
Keywords: dessert, finland, eat the world, blueberries, pie, tart, sour cream, cardamom, vanilla, egg, rye flour
I love baking and kneading dough because it takes me to a happy place in my soul.
I love the almost lemony tang of cardamom, it sounds perfect to pair with blueberries.
Thank you! Yes, it was the perfect match.
Veini Siiskonen says
This doesn't look authentic... try other recipes for sure.
Thank you Veini for your contribution. While I cannot call it authentic but I tried to stay very close to the original and add some little touches that were indeed highly appreciated by those who tried it. And they were many, including some Finnish people and that made me so happy.
I can assure you it is very authentic!:) I live in Finland and was looking for a recipe in Finnish but none of them seemed to work, so I looked for an English one and ended up here.
It is very good, thank you!;)
That makes me so happy! Thank you for your feedback, we are in love with this pie!
Wendy Klik says
What an amazing sounding dessert. Such great flavors, I can't wait to try it.
Thanks! All the flavors of the berries enveloped in a tangy cream and buttery crust 🙂 .
Such a wonderful summer pie! Sounds perfect with the vanilla and cardamom.
Vanilla and cardamom lift up the flavors of the blueberries so much! Thank you!
OK, I am certain I will mispronounce the name but so glad you posted this recipe. The cake/pie looks gorgeous and from reading about it I love the flavors and how it comes together...and I have a ton on blueberries on hand! Also welcome to Mediavine! So happy to see. You will love it!
Thank you, Milena! It is quite pretty isn't it? And it's also very delicious. Although the name is quite impossible to pronounce 🙂 . Hope you try it and let me know!
That pie is just, I feel like I would push women and children out of the way to have a slice lol. Looks amazing. I wish I could go berry picking there too.
Thank you, Evelyne! It is amazing!
So frozen blueberries is out of the question??
Hello! It is a pie born to use the abundance of wild blueberries, but of course I think it would work with frozen berries. Haven't tested it, but would think so. Add them frozen and see how it goes. It is a true gem!
Elsa Fletcher says
Hi there. As someone with a Finnish mother I can confirm that this tasted really authentic. The instructions were easy to follow and my mustikkapiirakka looked and tasted great. The hint of cardamom, which is missing from a lot of recipes for this online, gives it a subtle, delicious warmth. Thanks you for sharing this.
Thank you so much for the lovely comment! I am so happy to hear that you found it authentic. The whole combination is delightful. One of the best pie/tarts we've ever eaten.
Carly Ingerson says
I'm Celiac so I used 200g of gluten free all-purpose flour(rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cornstarch, xanthan gum mix) and didn't include the rye flour, but even with that change it came out great. The crust is like a flakey sugar cookie(but it doesn't hold as well as I think gluten-flours would, so it crumbles at the top a bit), and the filling is basically a sweet custard with tart(in my case, extra tart) berries. But the cardamom and blueberries go great together. I was going to add almond flour for some almond flavor and a different texture, but I'm glad I didn't. I enjoy this sugar cookie taste.
Thank you so much for the feedback! I'm happy to see it works also with a gluten-free crust. Yes, of course it would be more crumbly than if made with regular flour. I love this pie!!
Gloria | Homemade & Yummy says
I am a blueberry lover to the core. I will admit I have NEVER tried this kind of blueberry pie. Sounds like I need to have some fun in the kitchen and give this recipe a try. Looks amazing.
I had not tried it either before, but now all I can think of, when I see blueberries, is this wonderful Finnish pie! Hope you try it!
Chef Dennis says
This Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish Blueberry Pie)is mouth watering! I can't believe I am starting to crave right now. No matter it's a pie, a tart, or a cheesecake, I still want to try this!
Thank you so much! It is a wonderful dessert, unique and full of delicious flavors.
Elaine Benoit says
I love learning new recipes, especially recipes from around the world. Your Finnish pie looks absolutely scrumptious! I love how easy it looks and want to make it asap! And as a bonus, I want to say, mustikkapiirakka 5 times fast. What a mouthful! 🙂
Aha, ah, I tried to say it 5 times fast and my tongue twisted!! Jokes aside, this is one the best food revelations I had so far! Incredible for texture and flavor. Thank you, Elaine!
GUNJAN C Dudani says
I am drooling over this pie. I wish I could dig into it right away. I ma bookmarking this recipe so I can try it once I do my grocery this week.
Thank you! Hope you try it, it is uber delicious 🙂 .
Kelly Anthony says
I've never had Mustikkapiirakka but it sounds like the perfect combination of my two favorite things. Excited to try something new.
Thank you! I had never had it before either and just fell in love with it!
My goodness your blueberry pie looks amazing! I am saving your recipe to try.
Thank you! The ones that tried it, loved it! Hope you do, too!
Paula Montenegro says
Scandinavian baking is one of my favorites! I never made this tart, so it's going to my bake-now list now. I love that it uses some rye flour! The trip you're about to make sounds amazing.
Thanks so much! The rye flour in the crust is fantastic. Hope you give it a try, the flavors are amazing.
Ah that custard-like filling is calling to me! Your blueberry pie looks absolutely beautiful! I wish I had a slice right now <3
Thanks! I wish we had a slice too! It was outstanding!
My goodness, that blueberry pie looks sensational. Flavors of vanilla cardamom makes is absolutely delicious.
Thanks! The cardamom, especially! Absolutely delicious.
Oh wow!!! I never heard of this pie before! It looks great and the thought of cardamon on a custard-y filling filled with fruit is simply divine!!
It is simply divine! We had never heard about it before researching Swedish desserts either but now we are big fans!!
Margaret Perkins says
Is there a US conversion for amounts? My family is of Finnish heritage and I would like to make this for them. Thank you!
7 Tbsp (0.44 cup) butter; 8 Tbsp sugar; 0.98 cup rye flour; 3/4 cup all purpose flour; 1 heaping cup (9 oz) fresh blueberries; 1 cup sour cream.
Eevi emminger says
I learned to make this from a top chef from Finland and this recipe is an adaption as there is no rye in the crust. Now everyone is different and has the right to adapt but for your Finnish heritage and to make it authentic use wild blueberries. The recipe i have used créeme fraiche or sour cream
Thank you, Eevi. Yes, it's my adaptation, but I always research a lot from cultures that are not mine. Rye flour is used a lot in Finnish baking and I can tell you, here, it makes a wonderful crust. The cardamom is what makes this pie, I wouldn't take it out, it just compliments the blueberries so much (of course, wild are better, I wrote that in the post) 🙂 .
I combined this recipe with the one I have in a Moosewood cookbook. The moosewood version uses yogurt, so I used that instead of sour cream. I also used vegan butter, egg replacemer, more cardamom, some lemon zest, and frozen blueberries. Everything turned out wonderful.
Using the tart pan with a removable bottom made sense. I could pop out the bottom and get it cooling faster! Thank you!
I am always happy to see how you adapt the recipe to your requirements! Great job. Thank you for the feedback. We just love this pie!
The recipe I have from a Finnish chef and ones I have referenced in my multitude of Finnish cookbooks written in Finnish as they are from family and each one I have the crust is more cake like when baked and when put in pan is rather wet and put in pan with floured fingers. My recipe also uses vanilla sugar in the custard but I will try putting the blueberries in before the filling next time. I reserve cardamon for pulla (Finnish coffee bread) and korvapustit (Finland’s take on the cinnamon roll) and other baked items including in apple pie and of course it goes in coffee. Cardamon is great in peach cobbler.
Thank you from your comment and the explications, I am always happy to hear about someone's heritage. My dough was kind of wet too and I spread it in the pan with my fingers. I added rye flour because it compliments so well the cardamom and vanilla, and makes for a more wholesome baked good. Now I want to try all the desserts you mentioned: pulla, korvapustit, yum!!
I love sour cream based pies, i ve never thought to try it with blueberries though and i m regretting that!
Hi! Thank you for the comment! I hope you try the combination of sour cream and blueberries and a crumbly rye crust. It's divine!
Hello! I would love to bake this because it looks insanely good. I don't think I will be able to find Rye flour where I live, do you think I can substitute it with whole wheat flour? Or something else? Would greatly appreciate your help!
PS: Big fan of your page!! Amazing articles and love your passion for food, travelling and different cultures.
Thank you so much for your compliments! Greatly appreciated. You can use all-purpose flour without adding anything to it and it will still be good. Other people did that and they loved it. Rye gives a more rustic hearty flavor, but it is my addition and not in the original recipe. Hope you will love it. Let me know how it goes!
Salme Woodington says
Tonight I googled mustikkapiirakka recipes and yours was the first one. I was curious to find out why it was written in English. When on your blog I learned that you were planning to visit Finland. That was last summer. I hope you enjoyed your trip. I grew up in Finland. Although I moved to Massachusetts 41 years ago, I still use a lot of Finnish recipes. Of course I have Finnish cookbooks but I am always looking for new recipes on the internet. The Finnish food culture has chaged so much since I left. Your recipe is quite different from the traditional Finnish mustikkapiirakka recipe. I am happy that your recipe has rye flour and cardamom, both used a lot in Finnish food, as you mentioned. Yesterday and today I picked 6 cups total from my blueberry bush and I want to make a pie or as it is called in Finnish "piirakka". Your recipe looks and sounds absolutely wonderful and I am excited to use it. By the way, you described Finnish food culture perfectly. I have signed up for your blog and cannot wait to read it. I hope the two of you are doing well during this pandemic. Thank you or "kiitos" for this mustikkapiirakka recipe.
Your comment made me so happy! Thank you so much! One of our passions is to learn different cultures through food and we try to be respectful when approaching recipes that are not part of our culture. I loved Mustikkapiirakka as soon as I've seen it, yesterday we bought fresh blueberries from the farmers market and I am going to make this wonderful pie again. Unfortunately, we did not go to Finland last summer, and then this happened. We are not discouraged, though, soon we'll be able to go! Hope you love this version as much as we do!
Love this recipe, and even though I have to convert the dough to gluten free (I have celiac and allergies). I'm my second one right now, with a different blend of GF dough, this one turned a bit thicker than the last... But the scent is so much like the real mustikka cheese cake that my mum makes (I was born in Finland). So glad I found your site!
I am so happy to read this! I am humbled by your lovely comment. We made it gluten-free for an event we catered but instead of using a blend of gf flours we made a base like a cheesecake with gf Graham crumbs, coriander, butter. Cooked the crust in the oven, let it cool and proceeded exactly like the regular mustikka. It was good 😉 .
Can any part of this pie be made ahead (eg night before) or if not, how quickly does the crust become soggy or too moist?
Hi! I've never made it in two days, but I am positive that you could bake the crust and leave it for the day after. I would definitely do the filling fresh. If you bake the whole tart the day before, the crust gets a little softer than it would be right after the tart is baked. But it's still pretty good! I hope this helps, let us know how you make out or if you have any other questions.
Stuart Yatsko says
Turned out great! My 100% Finn Mother loved it! Me too. Didn’t have rye flour. Loved how the crust raised a little. Used a ceramic pie pan.
I am so happy you enjoyed the Mustikkapiirakka! And I'm honored that your Finnish mom loved it too. I know rye flour is not in the traditional recipe but if you want, next time, try it, I think it adds a wonderful flavor/texture. Thank you much for the feedback, good to know it works also in a ceramic pie pan!
Hello. I too was intrigued by this wonderful-sounding dessert from a country many of us know little about. I had to borrow a scale from a neighbor to weigh the ingredients. My crust did not turn out at all! Seemed like it had way too many dry ingredients for the amount of liquid. I looked at another online recipe and adapted based on how that one instructed to prepare the crust. Once the pie was done, I doled it out to friends and neighbors--8 people. All thumbs up and smiles! One of those friends has asked for a whole pie, but lives alone and can't eat it all too quickly. Do you recommend freezing once baked, or is this really prime when fresh from the oven??
Hi! Thank you for trying this dessert out! It is wonderful. Sorry to hear about the crust, but I, and the many people that made it, assure you, that it is a pretty wet dough, so something might have gone wrong when weighing the ingredients. Happy though that you still continued and made it through! I haven't tried putting it in the freezer, but I am thinking if they freeze cheesecakes, why not this one...