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.
Song suggestion: Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
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)
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.