Pierogi are filled dumplings that are one of the most popular and traditional Polish dishes. They can be filled with nearly anything depending on the occasion, celebration or time of year. In the summer it’s common to make pierogi with fruits, such as strawberries, cherries or wild blueberries.
Last weekend I was hiking and camping in Saxon Switzerland, a beautiful national park covered with dense forest interrupted only by large sandstone rock formations (great lookout spots!). While wandering through the forests I was pleased to find an endless supply of wild blueberries. Of course, right away I thought, “Pierogi!”. I somehow managed to pick enough blueberries for pierogi, even though it was an extremely difficult task as half of the blueberries went straight into my mouth.
The only thing missing was a recipe for pierogi dough. Although I had participated in pierogi making since childhood, I’d never actually made them myself. A quick email to my mom fixed that problem, so I give all the credit to her for the recipe below.
600 g white flour
1 organic egg
1 glass of hot water (just hot enough to touch)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 kg wild blueberries
some raw cane sugar
sour cream mixed with sugar for serving (optional)
Form a loose mound of flour on a kneading board if you have one, otherwise just use a clean kitchen table top. Crack an egg into the middle and mix it in with your hands. Gradually add hot water as you knead the dough until it becomes flexible and no longer sticks to the hands and board.
Rub the butter into the dough to make it elastic. Take a fist-sized ball of dough and roll it out thin (2 – 3 millimetres), while keeping the rest covered with a bowl or cloth to prevent it from drying. Cut circles from the rolled dough with a wide glass or cup. Fill each circle with as many blueberries as you can and a half teaspoon of raw cane sugar.
Now the hard part! Close the dumpling. Here’s a short video of how to close pierogi. You can choose your favourite technique. Place the raw dumplings on a clean kitchen cloth until you are done with the dough. This may take a while, but you won’t regret it.
Place pierogi in boiling water for a few minutes and serve hot with sour cream and sugar.