Friday, January 2, 2009

Homemade Pierogies

I love homemade pierogies. Unfortunately, I don't get them very often and came to the harsh reality that if I want them, I have to make them myself. It's really not hard at all, but it's rather time-consuming. It definitely helps to have a curious husband who wants to help out.

1 large egg
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup milk
1 cup water
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 pounds (about 10 medium) baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 ounces cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup) grated
6 ounces cream cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Make the dough: In a medium bowl, whisk egg. Add sour cream, and whisk until smooth. Add milk and water, and whisk until combined. Slowly add about 3 cups flour, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and work in about 1 cup flour as you knead. Use a plastic scraper to lift dough as it will stick to the counter before flour is worked in. Continue kneading for 8 to 10 minutes, working in another 1/2 cup flour. The dough should be elastic in texture and no longer sticky. Be careful not to add too much flour, as this will toughen dough. Place dough in a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rest while you prepare filling.

Make the filling: Place potatoes in a large pot, and cover with cold water. Add salt. Place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender. Drain and mash with a potato masher. Add 8 tablespoons melted butter and the cheeses, and continue to mash until well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Using a glass or a cookie cutter measuring 2 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out as many circles as possible. Gather dough scraps together, roll them out again, and continue cutting.
Lay a dry, clean towel on work surface; set aside. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough circle. Holding a circle in your hand, fold dough over filling, and pinch the edges, forming a well-sealed crescent; transfer to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Continue this process until all dough circles are filled.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Place pierogi in boiling water in batches. They will sink to the bottom of the pot and then rise to the top. Once they rise, let them cook for about a minute more. Meanwhile, In a small saucepan, cook remaining butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and drizzle butter onto a serving platter, leaving any burned sediment behind. Remove pierogi from pot, and transfer to platter to prevent sticking. Serve immediately.

Now, I have a 2" biscuit cutter...which makes petite pierogies. This was not my intention at first, but they are perfectly bite-sized. I would recommend a 3" cutter for 'normal' sized pierogies.

Since they are so small, I used a teaspoon to measure the filling and then formed it into balls. Just fold the dough in half and seal with a fork.

Here they are in all their cuteness...ready for the freezer. I freeze them like this and then transfer them to a freezer bag when they are frozen through.

Josh had the brilliant idea to add some bacon that we had leftover from breakfast to the potato-cheese filling. Let me say, oh my god! What a great idea! With a little sour cream they were similar to stuffed potato skins. Yum!

I'm a reasonable gal, and I'll share my pieroghies with you...on one come to my house to eat them. They're like the Holy Grail...they can't cross the 'seal' ( doorway).


Joelen said...

I'm planning on a pierogie making day to fill with both sweet and savory fillings. Thanks so much for sharing this!

Frieda said...

Pierogies?! I have never tried them, but now I will! I saw your post on PW Cooks about homemade bread...come on over and check out my blog!

Colleen said...

Your pierogi's look good...I actuall wrote a blog post about them and how I would rather cook for a party of 20 - which I could in the time it takes me to make pierogie - my 98 yr old grandmother puts me to shame!

Good for you!