In Fall of 2009, I was in Pittsburgh giving a lecture at the Center for Digestive Health and Nutrition’s 3rd Annual Conference on Celiac Disease, and teaching gluten-free cooking classes. I was repeatedly asked for recipes for gnocchi and pierogies. I have already published my amazingly easy recipe for potato or sweet potato gnocchis in a previous newsletter (look for classic recipes like these to be republished in my newsletters from time to time), so I thought I would tackle the pierogi while it’s still bitter cold outside and we are all craving yummy foods like these to warm us from the inside out!
For the uninitiated, pierogis are delicious pockets of dough stuffed with yummy fillings like potatoes and cheese, sweet potatoes or even Irish Colcannon! Boil or pan fry, and serve as a main dish or an appetizer. I have even filled them with sweet potatoes and sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar as a sweet after supper offering.
This recipe is not difficult, but it involves several steps, so I’ve laid them out below with several in-process photos to help. I’ve also just posted a video on the blog if you need more visual cues!
- 2 cups Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup sour cream, dairy or non-dairy alternative (soy sour cream or plain coconut yogurt)
- 1/4 cup +/- very warm water
In a large-bottomed bowl, whisk together the Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour and salt. Whisk together with a fork.
Form a well in the center and pour the oil (1) and cracked egg into the well.
Whisk these together without incorporating much flour, until well mixed.(2) Add the sour cream to the well next, whisking to integrate.
Gradually begin stirring the flour in with the wet mixture in the center. Meanwhile, pour 1/8 cup of water on top of the dry ingredients and stir that in as well. As the dough gets too dry, add in the additional 1/8 cup water. Continue stirring with the fork until all the liquid is completely integrated. If the dough is too dry, add more water, one tablespoon at at time. The dough should hold together without being overly wet and sticky.
Gather the dough into a ball (3) and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Set out on the counter for at least 30 minutes (I left it for 1 1/2 hours today while I went to the gym!) while you prepare your fillings.
After 30 minutes, prepare a clean counter or pastry mat by dusting with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Divide the dough in half, turning one half of the dough onto the dusted surface and leaving one half of the dough wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Begin rolling the dough by rolling gently in one direction, (4) then in the other, to form a 1/8 inch thick round of dough.
Using a 3-inch round cutter (or larger), cut out circles of dough until all the dough is used. (5) One half of the dough should yield about 18 3-inch rounds.
Scoop out a marble-size ball of your prepared filling and place it just off the center line of one pastry circle. Press each ball into a longer shape, more like the last knuckle of your index finger, so that the filling will fill the cavity of the crescent formed by folding the dough over itself. (6)
Dip your finger in water and lightly dab around the edge of each pastry circle to wet it, helping one side to adhere to the other when folded over the filling.
Fold one side of the pastry over the filling, forming a semi-circle.(7)
Press gently, being sure to seal the edges, then press again lightly with the tines of a fork. (8) Set each formed pierogi aside and cover with a damp towel until ready to boil.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and gently submerge each pierogi in the boiling water. Put only as many pierogies into the pot as can boil without crowding (I boiled 6 at a time). Stir once in awhile, if necessary to prevent them from sticking together. Once they begin to float, boil another 5 minutes – total boil time should be approximately 6-7 minutes.
Remove with a skimmer or slotted spoon to rinse and drain. (9) Try not to let the pierogies touch while they are draining, so that they will not stick to one another. Repeat until all pierogies are boiled.
Serve at this point, or pan fry in butter or non-dairy alternative until slightly crisp. Serve alone or atop a bed of wilted spinach with walnuts, craisins, raisins, chopped apples, or any other accompaniments that suit you. Also try serving with my Onion-Mushroom Sauté.
Refrigerate any extras by laying flat on a covered plate or in a zip top bag, and reheat at low-medium temperature in the microwave for a few seconds only. If freezing, allow the pierogies to cool, then lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 5 minutes. Remove and lay pierogies onto parchment so that they are not touching, then seal inside freezer bags. When re-heating, microwave, flash fry or re-boil 2-4 minutes, just until warmed.
Yield: 36 3-inch pierogies.