Every Sunday my Mom and I would make Pierogi. My dad, who was born in Ukraine, taught my Mom how to make these, he called them Pyrohy. My Mom made them with sauerkraut ( homemade sauerkraut of course) and potato. She would mash both together to use as the filling. Sometime over the years we started using potato and cottage cheese, which has become my favourite filling, and I will be sharing this one with you today. Don’t run out and buy just regular cottage cheese, you want to get a dryer cottage cheese as opposed to the soupy kind in the plastic container. Sometimes it’s called farmers cheese or dry-curd cottage cheese. Best to ask your local grocer where they keep it. If all you can find is the wet cottage cheese in those plastic containers, you could always use cheesecloth to squeeze out all the liquid which may require at least 3 500ml containers to equal a 500g block of pressed dry cottage cheese.
Note: ( I use the starchy water from the boiled potatoes, let it cool down before using, or mix with a bit of cold water for a lukewarm temp)
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 egg
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
Combine water, oil, egg and salt, blend well with a fork. Add enough of the flour to form a soft ball (slowly, one cup at a time). When dough becomes too hard to stir with fork, use your hands to form a ball then Knead on counter . Knead the dough and add in enough of flour until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Make a ball and cover with the bowl on the counter. Let stand for 20 minutes. Resting the dough will let it soften enough to roll. If dough becomes too hard to handle at any time, just let it rest and it will become workable again. Cover dough that’s not being used or it will dry out.
2 medium potatoes, cooked & mashed
500g pressed dry cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mash the potatoes into the cottage cheese with a fork or potato masher, Add salt to taste, if desired.
Once the dough has had a chance to rest for about 20 minutes, roll dough out into about a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut dough with round glass or round cookie cutter. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling onto the center of the circle and fold over. Pinch pierogi along the edges to hold in the filling. Place the filled pierogi onto a well floured surface to prevent sticking. Gather scraps, knead together and let dough rest again, re-roll, cut and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the pierogi, making sure not to add too many, stir gently. Boil pierogi for 7 minutes. Remove from water and toss with cooking oil or butter so pierogi won’t stick together. Serve with fried onions, bacon bits and sour cream. Makes 40-50 pierogi depending on size of circles cut.
Pierogi can be frozen before cooking. Place pierogi on a parchment covered cookie sheet, don’t let them touch, and freeze, then put the pierogi into freezer bags.
-use leftover dough to make apple strudel, https://www.urbanwhisk.com/apple-strudel-html/
-add another potato to stretch the filling or don’t use any at all. You’ll have a lot of dough left over unless you use double the amount of cottage cheese.
-make ‘flats’ with leftover dough. My kids love what we call the ‘flats’. Roll out dough a little thinner and cut in short strips, squares, circles or hearts. Don’t stuff, just drop the flats in boiling water for 7 minutes and serve with butter, onions and bacon.