It’s that time again. Perogie making time. Also known as Pierogi, Pyrohy, or Varenyky.
For the last few years I’ve been using my cousin’s dough recipe–2 cups of sour cream, 3 1/2 cups of flour. The dough is easy to work with, and the perogies pretty much melt in your mouth. This year, however, I wanted to go back to my mother’s original recipe, just as she wrote it out for me on an old brown envelope. The dough gets tough if you over handle it, but it feels a little more substantial in the overall experience, as far as eating perogies goes. With some additions of my own, the following are her instructions:
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 of a cup warm water
2 tablespoons of mazzola oil (I used olive)
1 egg, beaten–use 1/2
Mix water, oil, and eggs.
Sift flour and salt.
Add water/oil mixture to flour. Knead dough until smooth. (I have no idea what she meant by smooth) I knead until it is a soft ball. I divide it in half, and roll out 1/2 at a time so that it doesn’t dry out.
Cover and let stand 2 hours (I let it sit in the bowl for 20 minutes).
Roll (thinner than for a pie crust), then cut circles as big as you want your perogie (about the size of your palm-unless they are huge, then about a 2 1/2 inch circumference), and place a teaspoon of filling in each circle. (It’s tricky finding something to shape the exact size circle that you want–great if you’ve got a medium-sized cookie cutter; I sometimes use a small wine glass.)
I usually place the filling in the top half of the circle and stretch the half I am pulling up just a bit. Then pinch all around to close.
6 large potatoes boiled and mashed with butter (about 2 tablespoons worth)
1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
cottage cheese, sauerkraut, blueberries
Place perogies on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Then flash freeze. When they are frozen put them in plastic bags.
To cook–place perogies in a pot of boiling water. Boil 8-10 minutes. Drain.
Serve with fried onions and mushrooms and sour cream. Add dill to the onion mixture if you can get it.
We traditionally have these on Christmas Eve.
I’m sure there are as many variations as there are mothers. My cousin now tells me she makes a dough using instant potatoes. Well, that’s just way too many calories.