For Ukrainians, a savory curd cheese filling is the national favorite, but others abound. A good varenyky should have a thin, tender dough. Some cooks claim cool water is the trick. But, really, it's all about years of practice. Here's a larger photo of blueberry varenyky.
Makes about 2 dozen Ukrainian Blueberry Varenyky
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- Basic Varenyky Dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg or 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup water (or more, as necessary)
- Blueberry Filling:
- 2 cups washed and stemmed blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons kirsch, brandy or lemon juice (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Make the Dough: In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Add egg(s) and enough water to make a medium-soft dough. Knead in a machine or by hand until smooth. But don't overwork the dough because it will become tough. Halve the dough and cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Prepare the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch and cook over low heat until blueberries come to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 2 minutes and remove from heat. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll one dough half 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round or glass, cut dough. Remove scraps. Place a circle in the palm of your hand and, using a slotted spoon, place 3 or 4 blueberries on each round (leaving the sauce in the pan). OR, leave the rounds on your work surface and place blueberries on all the rounds before sealing.
- Fold the dough over to form a half-circle and press the edges together until well sealed and there is no air trapped in the dumpling, and the edges are free of filling. (See How to Make Pierogi.)
- Place filled dumpling on a lightly floured surface and cover with a tea towel to prevent drying. Reroll scraps and continue with remaining dough.
- Note: The dough can also be cut into 2 1/2-inch squares, filled and folded into triangles.
- Drop 6 varenyky at a time into boiling, salted water. Stir gently to separate and prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil rapidly for 3 to 4 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the varenyky and thickness of the dough. Varenyky are done when well puffed. Remove from water with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain well in a colander. Place in a shallow dish and coat generously with melted butter, tossing to prevent sticking. Cover and keep hot until all the varenyky are boiled.
- To serve: Dust with confectioners' sugar and sour cream (smetana). Add cornstarch to blueberry sauce and heat over low until slightly thickened. Drizzle over cooked varenyky.