The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale. You can find the challenge recipes here.
I wanted to make pelmeni (Russian dumplings) first because my family really loves them, and I have this cool kitchen gadget called pelmeniza. But then I thought this wasn’t very daring because I’ve made pelmeni quite often. I’ve never made vareniki (Ukrainian dumplings), though, and I had some canned sour cherries from last summer waiting in my garage to be put to good use. Thus, my Daring Cooks contribution this month: vareniki filled with sour cherries. Very delicious!
Vareniki with Sour Cherries
(adapted from Chefkoch)
- 14 oz flour
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 jar sour cherries
- Drain sour cherries in a colander, keep the juice.
- Mix flour, eggs, water and salt. Knead until it forms a smooth dough. Cover and let rest for about 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough fairly thin and cut out circles with a glass.
- Place 2 cherries on each circle, fold dough in half and pinch edges together with a fork.
- Gather scraps, re-roll and fill. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the vareniki. Return to the boil and reduce heat. When the vareniki rise to the surface, continue to simmer 2-3 more minutes.
- Remove one dumpling with a slotted spoon and taste if ready. When satisfied, remove remaining vareniki from the water.
- Add a little sugar to the cherry juice and bring to a boil. Pour cherry juice over vareniki and let cool.
- Once cool, serve with sour cream.