Hey, Who You Calling Dumpling?

Posted by Adam | Posted in , , | Posted on Monday, July 14, 2008

You ever ask your mom for something, even though you already know what the reaction will be? Mom, can I pleeeeeze stay out on a school night? Can I pleeeeze get... (Super Mario, Power Ranger, whatever). Sure, you knew it could possibly go 50/50, but you the answer is probably no. She does this single eye squint, with a half wrinkled smile, and a usually a long winded sigh. Anybody else ever get any of those? Maybe it's just me...

That is the response my family gives when it comes to making certain dishes. The two most notable are Pierogi, (stuffed dumplings) and Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls). They were always saved for special occasions like graduations, Christmas, or birthdays, and they were always a treat. When I was younger, I never questioned why we have them so sparingly throughout the year, until I started making them with my Babcia (grandmother).

They are A LOT of work.

The ingredients are simple. There is nothing special to buy, and by no means are they expensive to produce. They are just labor intensive. If you ever want to make pierogi, totally go for it. A word of advice though... get an assembly line going. Have one person roll and cut the dough into circles, and two or three people stuff and pinch the dough, (the most important step) and another to boil them. These types of recipes make 60 or 80 pieces, so making that many by yourself is a chore. Actually like seven chores. Like cleaning out the garage that hasn't been touched since 1985.

So I mentioned pierogi's in my other post, and I had some left over plums, so I came up with Plum Breakfast Pierogi. While pierogi are famous for a potato and cheese filling, the dough itself can be filled with anything. The dough is a blank slate, so anything from mushrooms, beef, onions, kapusta, cottage cheese, strawberries, literally anything can be used. When I was younger, we would use blueberries and raspberries and have them for breakfast. Just boil them up, melt a little butter on top, and sprinkle with some sugar. If you can find a kid that won't eat that, well too bad for him/her.

Pierogi dough recipes are all over the web. They can be as elaborate or "bare bones" as you want. My fridge is getting empty, and I'm going back home for a few days, so I used a simple dough. Feel free to change the ingredients to your own tastes.

Breakfast Plum Pierogi
Recipe by Adam

-3 1/2 cups AP flour
-1/2 cup sugar (if making savory, leave this out)
-1 tsp salt
-1 cup milk
-1 egg, beaten

-2 tsp canola oil

-10-12 plums, depending on size, peeled, seeded, and chopped fine

-1/2 cup sugar

-1/2 tsp lemon juice

-1 tsp honey

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt, mix well. Make a well in the center, and add egg, milk, and oil. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until a sticky dough comes together. If it is absolutely too wet or dry, add water or flour as needed until it is smooth. Let rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

For the plum filling, in a small sauce pan over medium heat, place plums, sugar, lemon juice, and honey. Let the mixture simmer until the plums soften up and a bit of the juice releases. Add more sugar or lemon juice to taste. Let the filling completely cool in a bowl in the fridge or freezer.

Once you are ready to rock, divide the dough in half and place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for a bit, and add more flour if it is too sticky. Roll the dough out until fairly thin, maybe 1/8", a little thinner than a pie crust. Take a round glass, dust the edge with flour, and cut out circles, about 2-3 inches across. Tear remaining dough away and keep covered with a towel so it won't dry out.

Lift each circle off the surface, and stretch out a little with floured fingers. While holding in one hand, place a small amount of the filling in the center of the dough, and carefully, fold over and pinch the dough closed. Make sure it is completely pinched together and has a good seal. This is very important. (They will open up while boiling if you don't). Place finished pierogi on a damp towel, and complete these steps with the rest of the dough.

While making and pinching the pierogi, start up a medium pot of boiling water. When it comes to a rolling boil, add pierogi in batches, about 10, to the boiling water. Stir a bit to make sure they don't stick to each other. Boil for about 3 minutes, or until they float up to the top of the water. Once they float they are done.

With a slotted spoon, fish out the pierogi, and place in a dish that is coated with a little butter. This will help them not stick to each other.
Serve with a little sprinkled sugar. Finish all these steps with the remaining dough. I know. I'm tired too.

So there you have it. I made about 30, start to finish, in about an hour. This is kind of a rainy day recipe, when you have some time to kill. I promise you something though... you will appreciate them. These are not your Mrs. T's or whatever. Those look so white and fake. I pity that foo. Polish or not, give pierogi a try. If you need some help, get me a plane ticket, some floor space, and a nice cup of coffee. We'll roll together, er... pinch together.
Mario found here

Comments (18)

I used to eat Pierogis all the time when I was little (real ones, no worries!! Not those frozen fake things) - your breakfast plum variety sounds killer good... yum!!!!

Those look so yummy. I never ever thought to use something sweet inside a pierogi. I wonder if you could deep fry them in oil for a crunchy texture? Ya think?
Anywho, those look amazing, your hard work paid off.

Those look incredible! We haven't had any in ages. There was a small market in town that had a nice old lady make them fresh, but they had a fire and never reopened. I can't bring myself to buy the frozen ones in the store.

Those look great. I've had dumplings, but never had a pierogi before. I would like to try them, but it must take a long time to wrap them and eaten in no time!

Oh man, i love pierogies! I've been wanting to make a lobster pierogie lately. Maybe this is a sign!! hehe.

I had a plum gnocchi before and i suppose the principle is similar as this one. I loved it is all i can remember. hehe. Nice work.

oh my these pierogis look gorgeous!! they are calling me "eat me" eat me"...if only my hands could reach out :-(

Hey Adam, the pierogis look delightful! Err....I root for the Yankees and I also rooted for the Giants in the superbowl. Does that mean you'll never visit my blog again ? :)

I'm glad I discovered your blog. I'll be following it. Whay a twist on pierogies. Great job.

Woohoo pierogies! I must make these, and soon. They have a special place in my heart...maybe in my arteries to be more specific. Thanks for the recipe :)

What a great idea! The only kind I've ever eaten have been the frozen kind (spur of the moment, horrible decisions!), so I can't really say I've eaten any. But with plum! Amazing.

And a coffee event?!? You MUST do it. Because now I want to know what it will be!

again something totally new to me.. looks grt!

What a great take on pierogi! My best friend, her family gets together the weekend of Thanksgiving and they all make pierogi for Christmas! They have it down to a science. I also love golubki. Such great stuff! I love me some Polish food!

Having pierogis for breakfast is a great idea! The plum filling sounds good. I tried making some pierogis a while ago and they were a bit of work but they were worth it.

You used plums! Yay! I like the idea of a breakfest pierogi. What a great idea!


That one hour work was sure worth it. They look really tastyyy! And I can have them for breakfast? Cool!

I haven't made homemade pierogi in far too long and I love fresh plums. I remember helping my grandmother make dozens and dozens of cheese and potato pierogi for Christmas eve dinner. Boiling cabbage leaves was never fun enough for me to stick around.

I see you have polish origins.
I never had plum pierogi and I think it's a great idea!