Pierogi – Eastern European dumplings, is a dish which has been with me since I was a little girl. I would come to my grandma’s village house in summer, run all around the whole day in that nature breathing fresh air and getting quite an appetite. Then you get back to her garden and here she is, with her freshly made vareniki (Ukrainian name for ‘pierogi’), super juicy and literally the size of my head! You bite into the first one, it explodes from juiciness and covers your face and probably few people around with strawberry juice. And it is warm and so sweet, just like these memories…
And then you grow up. And you learn what carbs, fats and cellulite are. But still, from time to time I would make small pierogi, filling them with sour fillings, like potato and bacon, cabbage or even pâté! Or sweet ones – filling with berries or sweet cottage cheese.
This version is my little creation inspired by my love of chocolate and Philadephia cheese! While creating this I was sad to learn that chocolate Philadelphia can no longer be bought in the UK, but oh well, this still turned up delicious and absolutely worth it. And for all those people saying it’s ‘too much hassle’, or well, it is certainly not a cheap takeaway kind of food. This is for those who want to cook something delicious and treat their family. Enjoy!
250 ml kefir (buttermilk)
3 – 3.5 cups of flour
3 tbsp cocoa (mix in water to prepare)
1/3 tsp salt and soda
sugar to taste
1 tbsp oil
Philadelphia Soft Cheese (pick your favourite – Lighters, Light or Full Fat)
Icing Sugar to taste
- Mix all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl,Kefir has to bee room temperature! Add flour in small portions to see how much you actually will need. Start preparing the dough with your hands on the table sprinkled with flour. You want it firm but soft. Keep adding flour until the dough can be formed into a ball. Leave it aside!
- While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. cut the strawberries and mix Philadelphia with some icing sugar to taste and some vanilla extract.
- Roll out the dough and make circles, you can use a glass for that.
- Form a circle from each dough piece, place some Philadelphia filling and a piece of strawberry. Close your dumpling! if it doesn’t stick well, sprinkle the edges with a bit of water. Also, make sure your hands are covered with flour as you don’t want sticky hands. Make sure you leave no gaps when closing the dumplings or all the filling will come out!
- When all the dumplings are prepared – use a steamer to cook them. You can make a steamer yourself like I did – cover saucepan (with water inside) with gauze. Steaming should take 5 minutes! Alternatively, boil them.
Top your beautiful pierogi with Philadelphia filling you have left, strawberries and/or make a strawberry ‘soup’ – simply add few tablespoons of water to the strawberries, some sugar to taste and heat it in saucepan mashing them with blender or fork.