Savoury pies with Jarlsberg cheese and ham (Norwegian pierogi)

Savoury pies with Jarlsberg cheese and ham (Norwegian pierogi)

Every country has something like these little pies – Polish pierogi, Indian samosas, Spanish and Argentinian empanadas – and this is Norway's version, made with Jarlsberg cheese and caraway seeds for that special Norwegian flavour. We give these dix points! If you're a lazybones you could use puff pastry, but you'll end up with something that's more like a fried pasty. Try these as a great little starter or beer blotter.


For the dough
  • 150ml/5fl oz lukewarm water

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 7g/¼oz sachet fast-action dried yeast

  • 450g/1lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 170ml/6fl oz milk

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 35g/1¼oz butter, melted

  • 1 free-range egg

  • 1 tbsp oil, for greasing the tray

  • 1 egg, beaten, for glazing and sealing

For the filling

Preparation method

  1. First make your starter mixture for the dough. Pour the lukewarm water into a bowl, add the sugar and yeast, then stir in 100g/3½oz of the flour. Mix well and leave the mixture to rise for 2–3 hours.

  2. Add the milk, salt, the rest of the flour, and the butter and egg then knead the mixture into a relatively firm dough. Leave it to rise for 2 hours.

  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook gently for about five minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another two minutes. Stir in the ham, cheese, parsley and caraway seeds, then season to taste and set aside to cool.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  5. Roll out the dough thinly on a floured surface and cut out 12 small circles. Use a glass if you don’t have a pastry cutter. Place a spoonful of filling on to one half of a pastry circle, then brush the edges with the beaten egg, and fold the pastry over to enclose the filling. Squeeze the edges together and brush again with the beaten egg. Fill the rest of the circles in the same way.

  6. Place the pies on a greased baking tray and bake them for 12–15 minutes until golden.

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