It has always been my family’s tradition to have pierogies on Christmas Eve.My mom’s grandmother used to make them from scratch and my mom used her recipe for a few years. However, the recipe was very labor intensive and tricky… even though they turned out great! In recent years we have been buying them from a church which has been much easier and still tasty. This year my sister will be spending Christmas with her husband’s family. After work today, my sister and I stopped to get a glass of wine since we got out a little early. She was saying how jealous she was that I was going to get to eat pierogies at my grandparents and she was going to miss it! So I said…. why don’t we make some for you to bring to your MIL’s?!? We did not use my great grandmother’s recipe, instead we sort of just made it up. The results were delicious, even though it was still a decent amount of work (worth it). Now I am envious that she gets to take them with her but at least I got to eat a few for a taste test.
2 cups of flour, extra on hand for dusting/rolling
3/4 of a cup of milk
1/4 tsp of salt
(We did this X2 but in two batches since we weren’t sure how many it would make initially and we mixed the dough in a food processor so we didn’t want to overflow it. We ended up with about 2 dozen pierogies)
3 Russet potatoes
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs cup of half and half
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
2 Tbs of salt (for cooking water)
Start off by making mashed potatoes for your filling. Wash, peel and quarter your potatoes. Place in a pot and cover with water. Add 2 tbs of salt to your water. Bring water to a boil and then cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain, and return potatoes to empty pot. Begin to mash the potatoes and add in butter, half and half and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Once combined, let them cool. You don’t want them to be too loose since you need the filling to hold up in the dough.
While the potatoes cool, start to make your dough. Add flour, salt, milk and egg to a food processor, pulse until the mixture comes together and starts to ball up. Dump the dough out onto a floured board. Flour your hands to scrap out any remaining dough. This is where we repeated the method and made more dough.
Once you have your dough in a ball on your board roll it out using a floured rolling pin. Try to roll it in as close to a rectangle as you can get it. The dough should be about a quarter of an inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares that are about 2in by 2in. Place about 1 tablespoon on mashed potatoes into the center of each square. Fold one corner over to the opposite side, making a triangle. Using a fork crimp the edge closed. Repeat!
At this point you can either freeze your pierogies or get them ready to eat. Whenever you are reading to serve. Drop them into salted boiling water and cook until they float (only 2-3 minutes). I then like to brown them a little bit in a pan with lots of melted butter and caramelized butter! I think my sister’s in laws will be very impressed and now I am wishing I took a few home for myself 🙂