Sklandrausis is one of the most traditional and most unique Latvian dishes. It was the first Latvian dish that was granted “Traditional Speciality Guaranteed” status by the European Commission, listing it along other European specialities like Champagne, Gorgonzola and Camembert.
Sklandrausis is a vegetable pie (or tart) made from rye pastry that is filled with a mixture of carrots and potatoes and eaten cold with tea or milk. The dish has originated from Kurzeme (the Western part of Latvia) in 16th – 17th century. The two-part name suggests that “rausis” (pie) was traditionally made by raking hot ashes or coal over the pies while “sklanda” means “slope” which refers to the upturned edges of the pie’s crust.
Even though sklandrausis has been added to the specialities list and has to be made according to the tradition, variations of the recipe exist. Some use sugar, others honey; some pour sour cream on top of the carrot layer, while others add caraway seeds to the filling for more flavour.
- 400g rye flour
- 100g butter
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 medium carrots
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 egg
- 2 medium potatoes
- 100ml milk
- 25g butter
- Peel the carrots, cut in quarters, place in a medium saucepan, cover with water and boil until tender.
- Peel the potatoes, cut in quarters, place in a separate saucepan, cover with water and boil until tender.
- While the vegetables are boiling, prepare the dough. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Mix the flour with softened butter and add the water, stir well to form dough. Knead the dough for 5 to 7 minutes until the dough is soft enough to be rolled.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Roll the dough 3-5 mm thick. Use a 8 cm cookie cutter to cut out 15 discs. Fold 1cm of the edges up to form pastry cases. Place the cases on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Prepare the filling. Drain the carrots and place in a food processor. Add honey, egg and sour cream and process for 20 seconds. Drain the potatoes, mash until smooth, add milk and butter and stir until well combined.
- To fill the pastry cases, spread 1 teaspoon of mashed potatoes, top with a tablespoon of processed carrots. Repeat until all cases have been filled.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the pastry has cooked and the filling turns slightly golden.