Ukraine: Varenyky

Varenyky (or vareniki in Russian) are stuffed dough pockets that are near and dear to the hearts of the people of the Ukraine, although variations are also found in Belarusian, Russian, Polish and Turkish cuisine. They are similar to Polish pierogi, Siberian pelmeni and Italian ravioli. Thte name varenyk simply means "boiled thing". To prepare them, filling is wrapped in a dough, boiled and then covered with butter or some type of oil.

The savory version of these are generally filled with cottage cheese or a potato and cheese filling and are topped with sour cream and sauteed onions. The sweet version of Varenyky are generally stuffed with fruit and served with sour cream and sugar. In Latvia, they glaze them with egg whites, bake them and then serve with soup; Mennonites generally bake and serve them with borscht; and the Polish boil them, fry them up in some butter and then top with bread crumbs.


12 tablespoons cold butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
14 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg yolk, optional
3 tablespoons granulated sugar or to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
granulated sugar
sour cream for garnish

Combine flour and 1/4 cup of sugar. Rub in butter until well combined and mixture is crumbly. Stir in the eggs (add a little water if necessary).

Form dough into a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

Wash blackberries and mash with a fork. Add cream cheese, egg yolk, 3 tablespoons sugar, sour cream, cinnamon, and salt.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out thinly on a lightly floured work surface. Use a round cookie cutter or rim of a drinking glass and cut the dough into 4" rounds. Place a spoonful of the filling in the middle of each circle. Moisten the edges of the dough and fold in half to enclose the filling. Pinch to seals the edges well.

To cook, drop into boiling salted water and cook until the dumplings are floating. Remove, drain and sprinkle with sugar. Serve with sour cream.

1 comment:

Julie said...

These sound very delicious, I would really like to give these a try.