Today I will be sharing with you something very close to my heart, my Pierogi recipe that I have tweaked into my own over the years. Pierogi are delicate little dumplings filled with a variety of delicious fillings ranging from meat and cabbage, mushroom, farm house white cheese and onion, to berries and cherries for a sweeter version. Every Polish grandmother has their own Pierogi recipe that of course is the best (but not as good as my Grandmother’s!) Such a simple yet mouth watering dish that has become one of the national dishes of Poland.
My beautiful Grandmother Babcia Zosia is one of the most brilliant cooks I have ever known. She can cook the simplest or most difficult dish with such perfection without ever using a recipe, and will leave you with a lingering food memory for years to come. She could cater for our entire extended family in her tiny little kitchen with ease, and prepare excessive amounts of food and dishes Every Single Time. However, her everyday simple cooking left me most mesmerised. Her way of cooking humble chicken drumsticks or a crumbed mince-filled crepe would leave me in awe likened to an experience of a good restaurant.
Sadly, my Kochana Babcia (loving Grandmother) is currently very unwell and in honour of her, I would like to share my version of my absolute favourite dish she cooked for me as a child; Strawberry Pierogi. Many summers ago, Babcia would make these beautiful Pierogi filled with strawberries and she would serve them boiled, with copious amounts of melted butter or cream drizzled over the top and finished with a generous sprinkling of sugar. This would be a dessert after a long day of feasting or even better, this dish would be made for me as an ordinary lunch during a sleep over as a young child. To be given such a sweet and delicious treat as a meal is certainly a highlight of my childhood!
For the Pierogi Dough you will need:
- 800g Plain flour
- 100gm Butter (softened at room temperature)
- 2 Eggs
- 400ml Water
- Pinch of salt
*Makes approximately 100 Pierogi. Simply halve the ingredients for less dough
- Sift flour over a bowl (or over your kitchen mixer bowl). Gently rub the butter into the flour until you have a coarse crumb texture. By hand (or using the kneading attachment on your kitchen mixer), slowly knead in each egg individually until completely incorporated.
- Add the water slowly by pouring in a steady stream whilst continuously kneading the dough. Once incorporated, knead for a further 10 min by hand (or knead with your kitchen mixer for 15 min on a low to medium setting). Kneading the dough for sufficient time is very important in achieving a smooth and pliable dough.
3. Cover and refrigerate the dough for a few hours, and leave out in room temperature for a further 20 min before required. I have discovered this process over the years of making Pierogi and it helps so much with the ease of roiling out the dough later on.
4. Once the dough has rested, sprinkle a dusting of flour over a wooden board or a clean surface. Roll out the dough until about 3mm thick. Using an inverted tumbler or cookie cutter dusted in flour, cut out circles approximately 7 cm in diameter. Cover with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out before you fill each one.
For the Strawberry filling you will need:
- 1 kg Strawberries washed and halved
- 3 Tbs caster sugar
- Juice from 1 lemon
To serve you will need:
- Pouring cream (or any cream you prefer, or melted butter)
- Sprinkle of coarse or Demerara sugar for each serve
- Mix the halved strawberries with the sugar and juice until combined.
- Hold a circle of dough and place 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling in the centre of each circle. Carefully fold the dough in half and press the edges together with your finger tips. If there is a noticeable gap in the dou before closing, add some more filling as too much air inside could cause them to fall apart during the cooking process.
3. Boil a large pot of water and cook about 7-10 dumplings at time for about 2-3 minutes (they should float to the top). Take them out and drain separated so they don’t stick together.
4. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of coarse sugar and a lovely drizzle of cream.
Note: You can freeze the unboiled Pierogi for about 3-6 months. Ensure you freeze them separately, before sealing them in a freezer bag or container to avoid them sticking together. I prefer to make them in advance and boil them frozen as they tend to keep their shape better.
Please let me know how your Pierogi go, and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions. They are so much fun to make together with friends and family, and they taste so delicious.
Smacznego and happy cooking!