Note: We inadvertently left the recipes out of last week’s Food Fun Column.
Adapted from The House and Homestead
Yield 6-8 dozen
This recipe called for 5 pounds of potatoes plus 1 pound of cheese and yielded 12 to 15 dozen pieces. Because making varenyky is such a laborious process, Ukrainian women often gather to make a lot and freeze them for later. I divided the recipe in half. If you want, you can divide the filling again to make half savory and half sweet. Serve both versions with sour cream. For the potato-filled version, you can add the caramelized onions to the filling or serve them on top. For sweet ones, follow directions, but use canned lekvar or fruit pie filling. If using filling like apple or cherry pie filling, remove some of the gooey gel and chop the fruit so it will fit into the dumpling.
2.5 LBs large russet potatoes
½ LB sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 medium onion, diced, sautéed long & slow in butter until golden brown
1 can prepared lekvar (prune) or fruit pie filling without the saucy part
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 C warm water (potato water from filling is the best)
1 TBSP vegetable or olive oil
1 large eggs lightly beaten
Make Savory Filling
- Peel potatoes; boil in salted water until soft enough to mash.
- Drain well. Reserve 1 C of potato water for dough.
- Return potatoes to pot; add cheese & sautéed onion. Mash until smooth and all ingredients well combined. Place filling in the fridge to cool. Prep filling ahead of time and let it cool overnight if possible. Otherwise let cool for at least an hour or so while making the dough.
- In a large bowl of a mixer, sift flour & salt.
- Mix water, oil, egg. Pour half into the flour. Mix & slowly add the remaining liquid and continue mixing until flour & liquid are combined. You may need to add a small amount of either flour or water, depending on the consistency of the dough. You should end up with a ball of dough that is very pliable but not sticky.
- Wrap dough in plastic; let dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide dough in half or thirds, keeping unused dough wrapped until needed. Flour the table or counter lightly & roll dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.
- Cut the dough in rounds using a biscuit cutter or a small, upside down drinking glass – about 3 inches across.
- Cup a round in one hand; fill with about one tablespoon filling. Seal the edges of the dough together with your fingers. Pinch the edge to make little ridges, making sure the seal is tight or your filling will leak out when you boil the varenyky. Lay pieces flat on a parchment lined baking sheet, not teaching one another.
- To cook, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook in small batches (10-15 perogies at a time), stirring gently to prevent dumplings from sticking together. Perogies are finished cooking when they float to the top.
- If eating right away, use a slotted spoon to remove them from water & drain before transferring to a serving bowl. Top with onions, if you didn’t put them in the filling. Pass sour cream to top.
- To freeze for later, remove cooked varenyky from water with slotted spoon & again, lay on parchment covered baking sheet. Let cool; put sheet in freezer. When dumplings are frozen, move them to an air-tight container.