Total time to make: 55 mins
Preparation: 45 mins, Cooking: 10 mins
Amount to make: 24 Ukrainian varenyky
This recipe for Ukrainian dumplings, known as varenyky, are filled with fresh, ripe blueberries.
Ukrainian filled dumplings that are boiled are known as varenyky. When the dough is made with yeast and the filled dumplings are baked, they are known as pyrohy.
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.
The filling used here is blueberry, but any of the fillings for naleśniki, pierogi, and uszka can be used.
What You’ll Need
For the Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large room-temperature egg or 2 large room-temperature egg yolks
1/2 cup water (or more, as necessary)
For the Blueberry Filling:
2 cups washed and stemmed blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons kirsch, brandy or lemon juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
How to Make It:
Make the Dough
In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add egg(s) and enough water to make a medium-soft dough.
Knead in a stand mixer 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 blueberries, sugar, optional liquor or lemon juice and cinnamon and cook over low heat until blueberries come to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer 2 minutes and remove from heat. Set aside.
Rolling and Filling the Dough
On a lightly floured surface, roll one dough half 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round or a 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).
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.)
Alternatively, the dough can be cut into 2 1/2-inch squares, filled and folded into triangles.
Place filled dumpling on a lightly floured surface and cover with a tea towel to prevent drying. Reroll scraps and continue with remaining dough.
Cook the Varenyky
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.
Serve the Dumplings and Make the Sauce
Dust cooked varenyky with confectioners’ sugar and serve with a dollop of sour cream (smetana).
Make the blueberry sauce by adding cornstarch to the blueberry liquid left in the saucepan and heat over low until slightly thickened. Drizzle over cooked varenyky or pass in a small pitcher at the table.