Porkkanalaatiko is a traditional Finnish Casserole made from carrots and rice baked in a custard of eggs and milk. The vegetables are cooked and pureed, mixed with milk or cream and eggs, sweetened with brown sugar or molasses, flavored with nutmeg and then baked in the oven. The carrots make this casserole fairly sweet, so don’t overdo the sugar. It’s a main course dish and great for Fall or Winter!
Preparation time for me was about 30 minutes, allow another hour to bake – and you can also freeze it for later use which can be handy.
There are a variety of these savory pudding-type casseroles made with root vegetables – Lanttulaatikko – a swede based bake and Perunilaatikko – potato bake, being a couple of others. They’re all delicious.
Porkkanalaatiko – the Ingredients
- 2 Cups Rice
- 2 Cups Milk (or cream)
- 1kg Medium Carrots, shredded
- (for a variation, you could use 350gm of swedes in place of some of the carrots)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar (you can use honey or molasses instead if you prefer)
- 2 Eggs
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/3 Cup of fine Bread or Cracker crumbs
- 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg (optional, some recipes include this, some don’t)
Porkkanalaatiko – the Instructions
OK, this is dead-easy to make.
- Cook the Rice
- Poach the Carrots, then puree. Alternatively you can just shred the Carrots
- Beat the eggs
- Mix the Rice, shredded Carrots, Eggs, Milk (to taste), Salt, Sugar and nutmeg in a greased Casserole dish
- Dot the surface with dabs of butter and sprinkle crumbs over
- If you’re feeling artistic, pattern the surface with a spoon or fork (I don’t know what it is about Finnish recipes, but lots of them include these little designer touches. Personally, I get my kids to do this, they love helping, especially with stuff like this….)
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes. It should be golden brown on top by the time it’s cooked. Depending on your oven, you may need to adjust the time a bit.
- Serve as a main course dish
I used a bit much milk the first time and it came out a bit runny. Used much less milk the second time and it worked much better. I liked it a lot, but the kids weren’t too keen. I think they found the carrot-colour a bit disconcerting. They ate some, but it was touch and go.
I find Beatrice Ojakangas’ recipe books a great source for Finnish and Scandinavian recipes. You can find all of these online as well but I still like a good recipe book to refer to for ideas every now and then.