Finnish Tarts


Finnish Tarts

Adapted from recipes by Helga Lakso and Beatrice Ojakangas


Makes about two dozen

Pastry dough:
2 cups white flour
1 cup butter (or a mixture
of shortening and butter)
1/3 cup water
Dash of salt

1 pound pitted prunes
3 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pastry dough:
Mix flour and salt; cut butter into flour-salt mixture using pastry cutter, and add up to 1/3 cup of water (until it feels like pie crust). Cool pastry dough for half an hour in the refrigerator.

Use a rolling pin to incorporate the butter into the chilled pastry dough: on a floured pastry board or table, flatten the dough with the rolling pin; fold down the top third of the dough and roll lightly. Fold the bottom third up over the center and roll again. Turn the pastry dough 90 degrees. Repeat the folding and rolling until the butter is blended into the dough. Chill pastry dough for a couple of hours or overnight.

Prune filling:
Cook prunes in water until they’re soft; drain, and press through a wire strainer or puree in a blender. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Chill until ready to use.

Assembling the tarts:
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Roll out half of the pastry dough to about 20 inches square. Using pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 3-inch squares. Make a partial cut diagonally from the four corners of each pastry square in towards the middle…don’t cut all the way!

Place a heaping teaspoonful of prune filling in the center of each tart, then fold the point of each cut corner across the filling, like a pinwheel. Pinch to close the four corners together in the middle of the tart. Chill the finished tarts until very cold before baking (Mom says this makes them much flakier). While the first panful is chilling, roll out the second batch of dough and make more tarts.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned. Remove from pan immediately. Your impulse will be to eat them while theyíre still hot, but the prune filling will really burn the roof of your mouth.

Finnish prune tarts will keep a few days in an airtight container, once they’ve cooled. Watch for thieves.


Spinach With Walnuts And Miso (Horenso No Kurumi-Ae)

Always healthy and delicious

Putney Farm

It may not sound like it, but to us, this dish is essentially “Japanese creamed spinach”. Just lighter, and probably healthier. What you get is sweet, earthy spinach with rich umami flavors and a creamy texture. This was not what we expected when we made the recipe, but we will take it. This dish is a very pleasant surprise. As Carolyn said “I could eat this every day”.

spin4spin5spin6And I am certainly happy about that, since the recipe came from Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s excellent cookbook “Japanese Farm Food“. The cookbook was a Mother’s Day present for Carolyn and she chose the recipe. It is always good when the first recipe you try is a winner (particularly if the cookbook is a gift). And we can’t wait to try more of the recipes, a bunch of them look amazing.

spin7spin8spin9The story behind the cookbook is also very cool. Nancy Singleton…

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Pulled Pork For Memorial Day

Delicious cook

Putney Farm

UPDATE: This is a reblog from last year. But Memorial Day is coming and this is still our favorite BBQ recipe. Enjoy!

We’re posting a number of summer food and cocktail recipes for Memorial Day weekend, so let’s get going. We will start with our favorite “summer” dish, pulled pork. Also simply known as pork barbecue, pulled pork is one of the most tender, succulent and flavorful meat dishes you can find. Nothing feeds, and pleases a crowd, like a brined, rubbed and slowly smoked pork shoulder. And it is pretty easy to make. You just need one ingredient: time. Lots of time (some planning and patience help too). But it is worth making this dish, particularly for a holiday weekend.

In case you are unfamiliar with pulled pork, it is a pork shoulder (also known as Boston butt) that’s smoked at a low temperature for a long span of…

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Strawberry Cream Pie

Strawberries and Cream Pie (Adapted from Crumbly Cookie’s recipe)



  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (About 9 full/long crackers — just throw them in a gallon bag, zip, and crush with a rolling pin.)
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted

** Crumbly Cookie’s original recipe called for only 1 block of cream cheese and 1 cup of cream, but that didn’t fill my pie dish all the way and I wanted a really thick/deep-dish pie, so I doubled the recipe.

  • 2 8oz blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy cream + 1 tbsp
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 carton strawberries, sliced into thirds or halves
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until a crumbly, moist mixture forms.
  3. Gently but firmly press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom/sides of a pie dish.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
    ** This is the only baking that you need to do for this recipe, so don’t forget to turn the oven off!
  5. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixture to beat your cream until it holds firm peaks. Set aside.
  6. In a separate, larger bowl, mix cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  7. Fold about 1/3 of the whipped cream into your cream cheese mixture to lighten it, then add the rest. Gently fold until evenly incorporated and smooth.
  8. Spoon filling into your cooled pie crust, and spread it out in an even layer.
  9. Layer sliced strawberries in an overlapping rows around the top of the cream.
  10. Melt chocolate + 1 tbsp cream, and stir until smooth and liquid. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top of the strawberries.
  11. Stick the pie in the fridge for a few hours to allow the creamy filling to firm up.
  12. Slice and serve immediately. Enjoy!
    ** Strawberries go fast, so this won’t keep very long. Try to eat everything within 3-5 days.