How to turn making Pierogi into kids activity? Best pierogi EVER.
For those who are not too familiar with Pierogi, they are Polish dumplings, filled with savory or sweet filling and cooked in boiling water, and/or fried.
Pierogi are delicious, and they come in so many varieties that it is hard not to like them. The one with meat, and fruits or my favorite "ruskie" - with farmers' cheese and potatoes, are only some of the examples.
The problem that I always had with making pierogi is that they take a long time and you end up doing them alone after. And spending hours making pierogi is not something that I have time to do. So I came up with an idea where I could make a game of it for my son. We counted them, we played with the dough, learned shapes, learned how to make a ball, and trust me, that made all the difference.
So to sum it up making Pirogi is a time consuming but if you just make a game out of it and have your family join to make them it will be a lot of fun and fantastic time to spend with you family.
This recipe is for my favorite Pierogi "ruskie". The filling is made of mashed potatoes and farmers' cheeses, onion and spices. They are one of the most traditional dishes in Poland but for all the good reasons.
Servings: 50 pierogi Time: 2h
for about 50 pierogi Dough: 15 min to make (30 min rest)
1 meal for 4 people Filling: Potatoes (cooking time 20 min), mixing 5 min
Assembling: 1,5 h
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of boiling water
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 tbsp of butter
2 lbs of mashed potatoes (peeled and cooked, with 1 tbsp of butter)
1 lbs of fresh farmers cheese (crumbled)
1 big fried onion (chopped and fried on a frying pan for about 10 min.)
1 chopped green onion/ shallots (for garnish)
Big sauce pan, rolling pin, empty space on a table to roll out you dough
Step by Step
Put the butter in boiling water and melt it. While butter is melting, pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add salt. Gradually pour the water with the butter into the flour, stirring everything constantly with a mixing spoon.
Add the beaten egg and combine all ingredients, start kneading the dough.
Place the dough on a floured tabletop and knead for about 7 - 8 minutes. Until it has the texture of a soft play-dough. Wrap it in foil (or put it in a ziplock bag) and let it rest for approx. 30 minutes.
To prepare the filling - mix together the mashed potatoes, fried onion, farmers cheese, salt and pepper. Combine them, to the moment you can easily make a ball out of the filling.
Divide the dough into 2 parts. Put half of it back in the bag and then roll out the other half very thinly (about 0.1 inch), sprinkling the dough with flour if necessary.
Use a glass to cut out circles, stretch them a little between your fingers, then put one heaped teaspoon of stuffing in the center. Fold in half and stick the edges carefully together, put them on the floured board, take a fork and make striped marks around the edges.
In a large pot or sauce pen, bring the salted water to a boil, put the first batch of pierogi (about 5-8 pieces). Reduce the heat to medium and blanch them for 30-40 sec.
Take them out with a skimmer, set a side on a plate or wooden board on a floured or oiled surface. Let them dry for about 2 minutes. They are ready to eat!
I my savory pierogi fried, so after they dry I heat up some olive oil and fry them on the frying pan until they get crust and color. I also add some scallions and eat them with cucumbers in brine.
If you leave the dough out of the bag it will dry.
While making them never, ever let them touch each other. They will glue on to another and you will not be able to unglue them.
Blanch them- in my opinion, never overcooked them. If you decide that you do not like them fried, cook them for 2-3 min- until they swim right up to the top.
NEVER, EVER over crowd them pot. If you will put too many they will get stuck with one another and you will end up with a pierogi ball.
Let them rest before storing, they should be completely dry and cool down.
In love with Polish vegetarian food, here are some other Polish recipes: