This Finnish ham pie is a wonderfully easy but delicious slab pie to feed many. Like a cross between a pizza, quiche and a pie it has a layer of easy pastry on the base and a topping of leek, ham, capsicum and cheese on top. It's so moreish that you might find yourself snacking on it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader!
This recipe was perfect for what I had in the fridge. I had a leek that was getting close to its use by date and all I needed was to buy a capsicum.
Is Kinkkupiirakka a pie, quiche or pizza? Kinkkupiirakka is a single layered pie where the base pastry is thicker than the usual pie crust. I wouldn't call it a quiche as there is only one egg and it isn't a pizza because the base doesn't contain yeast and the topping is quite different to that of a pizza. But one thing it is is absolutely delicious! It feeds lots of people and makes for a wonderful picnic food as it is very tasty hot or cold (I preferred it cold actually) and is great for lunch for a crowd. It is usually served at parties because it is easy to slice up and share.
Round, square or rectangular pie? This Finnish ham pie is actually usually made round but I wanted to make it rectangular as it was easier to divide that way. Just use whichever baking dish you would like.
How to use leeks: Leeks have a wonderfully mild and sweet onion flavour. Use the white part of the leek only. Leeks often collect dirt in the top and green layers so once you've removed the green part, split the leek in half from top to tail and clean inside the leek layers. I usually remove one or two outer layers depending on how fresh the leek is and how much dirt is in those layers.
Other Finnish recipes to try: Lusikkaleivat Finnish Spoon Cookies, Finnish Mocha Squares, Korvapuusti Cinnamon Cardamom Buns, Finnish Mixed Fruit Soup & Rice Pudding, Finnish Pea Soup, Finnish Cream Buns, Munkki Donuts and my favourite Finnish food, Karelian Rice Pies With Egg Butter!
I really enjoy Finnish food and mostly encounter it through Mr NQN's family as he is half Finnish. We usually try it at his aunt and uncle Sisko and Seppo's house although we haven't seen them lately because of COVID-19. Mr NQN's Finnish mother isn't really interested in food at all. She's a vegan who loathes cooking. If she could exist without eating she would as she takes no pleasure from food, only nutrients.
I've learned the best presents to give her are vegan foods or raw vegetables or fruit. That's the only thing that she will get excited about. She was kindly looking after our puppy Teddy one weekend for us so I have her a nut mylk mix that makes 20 litres of nut mylk and some organic potatoes. When we came back on Sunday to pick Teddy up we found out that she had started Teddy's indoctrination into the world of veganism.
"I accidentally dropped some tempeh on the floor and he ate it!" she said in her singsong voice. She has the opposite of a poker face so you can always tell when what she is thinking and we both knew that the "dropped" tempeh was not an accident.
Except the next time Teddy went her place I think she forgot she said this and told us, "I accidentally dropped tempeh on the floor and Teddy ate it!". "Again?" we asked. "Funny how the tempeh keeps falling on the floor!"
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried Finnish food? What kind of presents do you like to receive?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Kinkkupiirakka Finnish Ham & Cheese Pie
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 8 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 350g/12.4ozs. flour
- 150g/5ozs. cold butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 175ml/6flozs. buttermilk or milk
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
- 1 leek, white part only, split in half and rinsed well of dirt
- 350g/12.4ozs. sliced ham
- 1 medium red capsicum, around 300g/10.6ozs.
- 180g/6ozs. grated tasty cheese
- 150ml/5flozs. cream or sour cream
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons parsley and chives
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200C/400F. First make the base. Pulse the flour, butter and salt together in a food processor until it becomes sandy in texture. Add the buttermilk and pulse until it comes together to form a dough.
Step 2 - Oil a 30x20cm/12x7.8inch baking tin on the base and sides and press the pastry down spreading it out (it doesn't have to be perfectly smooth as you can see). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Step 3 - While the base is baking make the topping. Chop the ham and leek and add oil to a frypan and sauté for 5-6 minutes until softened. Dice capsicum and add to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Mix with the cheese and spread over the cooked base.
Step 4 - Whisk the cream and egg together with the chives. Pour over the ham and leek filling and spread out to the sides. Bake in a 170C/340F oven for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm or cold.