Saturday, April 7, 2012

Finnish Cottage Cheese Pastry Crust

Rahkakuori is a traditional cottage cheese pastry that is used for everything from quiche to blueberry tarts. I was inspired by the one in Bea Ojakangas’  Scandinavian Cooking book and have adapted it to use less butter, more cottage cheese and whole-wheat flour. Whole wheat crusts are known for being a bit more dry, but with the cottage cheese, this crust is deliciously moist and flaky—and I think better than traditional pie crust! It makes for a very flexible dough that is easy to work with AND it’s quick and healthy! Try it with your favorite filling. This is scaled for a single 9-inch crust. Yum!

Whole-Wheat Rahkakuori
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup low-fat cottage cheese
5 Tbsp salted butter, cold

In a medium glass bowl combine the flours. Cut cold butter into cubes and using a pastry blender, work into the dough until you see pea-sized crumbles. Add the cottage cheese and combine—the dough will be crumbly. Gently work the dough into a ball.

Tips: If the ball is just barely sticking to your hands it's perfect! I did not need to add anything to mine, but some cottage cheeses are very wet. Use your instincts.  If the dough is wet and not holding its shape, you may need to add a Tbsp or 2 more of whole-wheat flour. If is dough is very dry and does not form a ball, add a Tbsp or 2 of ice cold water.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Dust a board or the counter generously with whole-wheat flour and roll out, flipping and dusting as necessary. Gently roll the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll over your glass or stone pie plate. Crimp the edges, and prick with a fork. Fill according to your favorite recipe! (If it is a long baking pie, consider foiling over the crimped edge and removing towards the end of cooking.)

I used this recipe to make my Spring Quiche! I hope you enjoy this recipe as you begin your holiday baking!

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