joulutorttu | finnish christmas pastry

by Viktor

While these flaky Finnish pastries are most often baked for Christmas, joulutorttu are great for breakfast or brunch any time of the year! To make these treats, just follow our simple instructions for an easy pastry dough and top them with your favorite jam!

finnish christmas pastry

I grew up just a few hours drive from the Finnish border. When I was a child, probably seven or eight years old, my parents would often go to a ski resort there and take me with them. Not interested in skiing, instead I would spend a few days outside enjoying the snow. And every so often when it would get too cold, I would retreat to the cafe to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa and one of their delicious local pastries.

raspberry joulutorttu

Although I no longer live close to Finland, I can still experience the same cozy feeling thanks to this recipe for Finnish Christmas pastries – joulutorttu. Traditionally, this type of pastry is baked with prune jam and comes in a few different forms. This time around, I decided to use raspberry jam and make the pastries into the shape of a pinwheel.

pastries with jam

If you are using store-bought puff pastry you can make this recipe in 30 minutes. I had enough time to make my own puff pastry so I borrowed a trusted dough recipe from Brittney. The most important part is to not let the butter melt. To achieve this, you can chill the dough in the fridge between steps.

raspberry joulutorttu

joulutorttu

serves: 12 pastries prep time: cook time:
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

ingredients

dough
  • chilled butter 230 g (1 c)
  • flour 315 g (2½ c)
  • salt ½ tsp
  • sugar 2 tbsp
  • cold water 120 ml (½ c)
  • white vinegar 1 tbsp
for cooking
  • flour for working surface
  • jam 300 ml (10 oz)
  • egg wash optional
  • powdered sugar optional

instructions

dough*

  1. Grate the butter or cut it into small pieces. Put it in the freezer. 
  2. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  3. Begin working the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or a pair of forks, but do not incorporate entirely. The dough should still have flecks of butter in it.
  4. Add the vinegar and half of the water. Begin mixing the dough. Gradually add the rest of the water.
  5. Once the dough has formed, shape it into a disc. Dust your working surface with flour and roll out the dough away from you until it is about 4 mm (⅛  inch) thick.
  6. Fold the dough into thirds (like a letter). To do this, fold the top third of the dough over the center and then fold the bottom third over the center. Turn the dough 90 degrees, roll out again and repeat the folds.
  7. Cut the dough in half, wrap it in plastic and let chill for 30 minutes.

cooking

  1. Heat the oven to 220 C (450 F).
  2. Roll one half of the dough into a rectangle 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inches). Cut into six squares.
  3. Diagonally cut the corners of each square towards the center, leaving enough space in the middle to place the jam.
  4. Add 1.5-2 tablespoons jam to the center of each square.
  5. Fold one corner from each cut piece towards the center of the square. Pierce with a toothpick to hold it in place.
  6. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  7. Brush with egg wash (optional) and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

notes

    making dough
    the most important part when making the dough is to not let the butter melt. To achieve this, you can chill the dough in the fridge between steps.


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