Finnish Blueberry Pie (Mustikkapiirakka)
Finnish blueberry pie is a cross between a cake and a cheesecake — and it’s delicious! All the fresh blueberries give this dessert a light, refreshing taste and will leave your whole house smelling amazing.
In Finnish, this dish is known as mustikkapiirakka, where “mustikka” means blueberry, and “piirakka” means pie. This blueberry pie is a very popular dish with the local people, and it is usually homemade. Each household can have their own family recipe, leaving room for many variations of this dessert. Sometimes it will be called summer cottage pie in Finland, because people head out to their cottages in the summer to pick berries by nearby lakes or in the forest.
What’s the difference between a blueberry and a bilberry?
Although many people use the term blueberries and bilberries interchangeably, there are a few key differences between the two types of berries. Both blueberries and bilberries are in fact closely related, however both grow in separate regions of the world. Bilberries are native to Northern Europe, whereas blueberries are native to the United States. If you compare the two side to side, you’ll find that the bilberry is smaller, dark blue on the inside and outside, and has a waxy touch to it. Both have similar taste and can be used interchangeably.In this recipe, I use blueberries for the pie because they are common to find at grocery stores.
This pie can also be made with raspberries or lingonberries depending on what berry is in season!
Bilberry picking in Finland
Finland is over 85% forest, so in the summer months, bilberries grow in the wild throughout the country. Starting after the plants flower in May to June, Finns will go out and pick bilberries from July until the beginning of September. Finns will pick baskets and baskets of them and will store them in the freezer for future use when the season is over. Other recipes that call for bilberries include berry soups, juices, jams, and desserts.
Nutritional value of blueberries
Blueberries and bilberries are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can find, which is the perfect justification for making (and eating!) this pie. Both contain anthocyanin, which is responsible for the blue color and health benefits. A one-cup serving of blueberries provides high percentages of vitamin C, vitamin K, Manganese, and fiber. They are said to improve both cardiovascular health, brain function, gut health, and help boost your immune system.
How to make Finnish blueberry pie (Mustikkapiirakka)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
To make the pie crust, whisk together the melted butter and ⅔ cup of sugar in a medium bowl. Then add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and vanilla extract.
Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Spread the pie batter over the bottom of the pan. Using a spatula, gently push up on the batter on the edges to form a slight edge along the pan. Sprinkle one cup of the blueberries into the pie pan.
TIP: There is no need to pre-bake or blind bake the pie crust.
For the filling, combine the sour cream, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Pour the filling over the blueberries so it covers them evenly. Add the remaining ½ cup of blueberries on top of the batter.
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the pie crust is light brown. Let cool for 20-25 minutes. It’s ok if the filling in the center jiggles a tiny bit, it will set once the pie is cooled. Serve it warm, or stick it in your refrigerator to chill. You can pair this pie with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream for a finishing touch. My personal preference is to serve it chilled, it’s even better the next day (or have it for breakfast in the morning, I won’t judge you!)
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Finnish Blueberry Pie (Mustikkapiirakka)
- For the pie crust:
- ½ cup butter melted
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the filling:
- 1 ½ cup of blueberries
- 1 cup sour cream (One 8 ounce tub)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tsp of lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- To make the pie crust, whisk together the melted butter and ⅔ cup of sugar in a medium bowl. Then add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Spread the pie batter over the bottom of the pan. Using a spatula, gently push up on the batter on the edges to form a slight edge along the pan. Sprinkle one cup of the blueberries into the pie pan.
- For the filling, combine the sour cream, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Pour the filling over the blueberries so it covers them evenly. Add the remaining ½ cup of blueberries on top of the batter.
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the pie crust is light brown. Let cool for 15-20 minutes. It’s ok if the filling in the center jiggles a tiny bit, it will set once the pie is cooled. Serve it warm, or stick it in your refrigerator.
Explore more Finnish recipes and let me know what you think in the comments below!
19 thoughts on “Finnish Blueberry Pie (Mustikkapiirakka)”
This was amazing!!!!!
Thanks Stew!! Glad you liked it 🙂
Oh my yummy goodness. Amazing! Will try with blackberries next time 👀
Laura, so glad you were able to try my recipe! Thanks for checking it out!
Delicious, but I used a ceramic pie plate and the base was not baked after 35 minutes at 375. The top looked just like the pictures here, but I ended up with a soggy bottom that was stuck to the bottom of the dish. Perhaps a glass pie dish would’ve done a better job. Delicious regardless.
Hi Tara! I’m sorry that the recipe didn’t turn out as expected with a ceramic pie plate — I only have a glass pan that I was able to test it out on. Perhaps you could try blind baking the pie crust by itself for 5-7 minutes with the ceramic. Thanks for letting me know, I’ll make a note of that for future readers!
So easy and so good! Very light flavor, so not surprising it is such a popular summer treat. Yum!!
This is a great recipe! I’ve made it and shared it with lots of people. The crust I made was a lot looser than it seems to be in your pictures and I was a bit worried, but it worked. I saw a few other recipes that include cardamom in the crust, so I added a healthy portion to my own recipe. I also used greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and it seemed to work perfectly. I’m going to make another one today!
Thanks Amber!! So glad you loved this recipe. It’s one of my summer favorites as well! Good to know on the greek yogurt, definitely going to try that out next time.
I am from Finland, so seeing people celebrating my country’s cuisine makes me feel so warm & happy. Mustikkapiirakka is one of my favourite desserts ever, and since I am not able to go to Finland now because of COVID (I am living in the states) reading about how other people see my culture & celebrating through food brings me closer to somewhere i cannot be right now. Thank you for your interest and thoughts on my country!
Hi Carina! Thank you so much for your comment! It’s been so refreshing learning about and cooking meals from all different cultures and cuisines while we have all been unable to travel internationally. Finland is definitely on my bucket list of places to travel!
Thanks again for reading my post and take on mustikkapiirakka!
I’m making this tonight yum. Half of my heritage at least is Finnish/Swedish I atrying to collect as many tradional recipes aa I can to make a book for my boys to band down to other generations they both like me are great cooks
I enjoy baking and often look for receipts from other countries. Your blueberry pie is amazing and will definitely become a regular
Delicious….thank you for this recipe.
Really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much Susan!
It is very good, but I would put a bit more sugar in the filling next time.
I just made this tonight!! (I am Finnish) I have a Finn club in my neighborhood, and we have something called a harvest dinner, it’s an early thanksgiving, I came across this because I was wanting to make a Finnish desert, so tonight I decided to try and make it as a practice pie. It smells amazing, can’t wait to taste it!!
I don’t have lemon zest;what can I use instead?
Do you have lemon juice? You could use a squeeze of that instead. Lime juice or lime zest might also work but I highly suggest the lemon! It pairs nicely with the blueberries.