hi! hope your week has been going well! my parents were in town last week visiting us (well, mostly visiting E and S), but while they were here, i tried my hand at making my mom’s pierogi (also known as pyrohy, varenyky, or pedaheh) from scratch. i have been wanting to share the recipe ever since!
over the past few years on my blog i have talked about them or shown pictures several times because i am obsessed! it is probably my favorite thing about being half ukranian (growing up, we always called them pedaheh, which is what i still call them, actually. but i am always called out on that! haha. so pierogi it is.) but regardless on what you call them, it’s hands down, my favorite dish.
i have wanted to share the recipe for a while but i have also always been really intimidated at the idea of making them on my own. when my mom is in the kitchen, you kind of just step back and slowly exit, before you get in trouble. she is the boss in there (and the best cook in the world if you really wanna know) but she maybe isn’t the best at letting you help. she has her system down, and runs a tight kitchen ship. so anyway, i made sure she let me do it this time, by myself. sure, politely looking over my shoulder, but letting me do it on my own. and she did. ;)
it was so much fun! and surprisingly easy…which made me kind of upset afterwards that i didn’t know how to make them all these years. and then we might have argued about that. because it’s like, embarrassingly easy, and that is annoying. anyway, thanks mom!
i hope you enjoy my favorite dish as much as i do!!!
ingredients for the dough: 2 cups flour . 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks . 4 tablespoons melted butter . 2 teaspoons salt . 1/2 cup potato water (my mom uses the water she boiled her potatoes for the filling to help the pitahia stay extra tender) . 1/2 cup warm water . (and then the tricky part is you might need to add a bit more flour at the end, depending on texture and feel. it should be sticky, but not terribly sticky- my mom often adds a 1/2 cup more flour at the end…. we did that this last time. )
ingredients for the filling: we usually fill them with a potato filling or my mom’s home-canned cherries (nothing compares to her cherries!). last november when my mom was in town we used fresh blueberries though because we couldn’t find cherries anywhere and i was desperately craving the fruit filled over the potato. if you do fill them with potato, just mash some cooked and peeled potato with a little browned onions, a little cream cheese and salt and pepper to taste. with either the cherry or blueberry filling, be sure the fruit is dry (no juice) and toss with some sugar and cornstarch.
instructions for the pierogi: in a large bowl, mix the flour and salt by hand. beat the eggs and egg yolks together separately and then add to the flour mixture. mix in the water. once those are well mixed, add the butter and mix by hand until the dough is soft. knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth (but don’t knead too long, i guess it can toughen the dough.) cut and divide the dough into 2 or 3 parts so you can roll out one part of the dough at a time on a floured board until it’s a thin, long and wide layer. use something circular (like the rim of a water glass) and cut as many circles out of the dough as you can. don’t mix the scraps of the used dough back into the rest of the dough. you can roll the small scraps into their own little bits to later boil and fry with the rest of the pierogi. once you have the circles cut out, hold one circle in your hand at a time and place a small spoonful of filling into the center of the dough. fold it over to form a half circle and press the edges together with your fingers. you don’t want the filling to come out later on so be sure each pierogi is sealed tightly with no filling near the edges. place them on a floured space with a tea towel over them to prevent them from drying.
bring a large pot of salted water to boiling and drop a few pierogi into the pot at a time. you can only boil a few at a time. stir occasionally to be sure they aren’t sticking to each other but let them boil for 3-4 minutes or until they float to the top and are well puffed. remove them delicately, with a perforated spoon and drain.
in a sauce pan, melt a tablespoon or so of butter. place several pierogi into the pan and sauté them until they are slightly browned (i prefer mine to be soft and barely brown while josh and other family members love them more done and golden brown.) serve warm with sour cream or a little brown sugar. or plain! i like mine plain! please don’t make me tell you that josh likes his potato ones with ketchup.
i know that was a lot of instructions, but it really is incredibly easy. p.s. if you make a huge batch, they do so well in the freezer for a longer period of time. if freezing, barely sauté them in butter, just enough to help them harden up a bit. once you pull them out of the freezer and allow them to thaw for a little while, you will want to repeat that last step of sautéing them with butter.