Sunday, 9 September 2012

Pierogi: Polish Dumplings with Blackcurrants.

Goodness me I’m having a lovely Sunday-time. After a rather enjoyable hour of kitchen pottering I’ve just eaten a stinking big plateful of these chaps with a bit of BBC’s Birdsong adaptation. I didn’t eat Birdsong, ate with it, well with it on the telly....ow you know what I mean. Anyway...have you watched it? You deeeeefinitely, first you should read it, it will take you no time, and then you should watch it, if only for Eddie Redmayne’s longloooong stares into the middle distance and the sadsad piano which accompanies them.

There’s a headache which has been threatening to spoil the fun all day but do you know, as soon as I stepped out of the kitchen I realised I hadn’t felt it throughout the whole pottering episode; despite the fact that it included sticky dough and rolling out and poaching and frying in sugar. That is the power of the oven, it takes away your woes and gives you a metaphorical shoulder well as doing that genius cake baking thing.

Not that I would suggest you wait until you need to relieve a headache to make these interesting little treats; and I don’t mean interesting in a ‘hummm, these taste....interesting’ way. No, I mean in a ‘wow I never even knew of the existence of these and heck they really are quite lovely’ way. They’re an eastern European dumpling which can be sweet or savoury; think of them as, essentially, a kind of ravioli which is poached and then fried in butter and sugar.

Yesyes I know that makes then sound complicated and a bit technical but like I said, they have magical headache relieving powers and if I can happily cook them while under that painful black cloud I have inherited from our dear mother and not accidently chop off fingers or vomit then it can’t be that taxing. So Birdsong from Amazon and get a batch of these on the go, you won’t regret either. With Love and Cake.

Blackcurrant Pierogi. 
By Ren Behan for Delicious magazine.

A few notes:
  • These, I’m sure, would be lovely with any number of fillings. The recipe I followed called for blueberries though I think any small would work or you could go with jam; just adjust or leave out the sugar accordingly. Or perhaps go totally of piste and try a savoury filling; cheese and cooked potato perhaps.
  • The temperature of the pan when frying is fairly important; too hot and your sugar will burn, not hot enough and you won’t get lovely golden dumplings. There’s no specific strategy you can follow to achieve this, just be vigilant.
Makes about 18
You will need 

250g plain flour 
2 tbsp icing sugar 
1 egg 
Pinch salt 
Around 125ml warm water 
150g blackcurrants 
4 tbsp caster sugar plus extra for frying and dusting 
50g butter 
Serve with sweetened whipped double cream 
  • First we make the dough. You can do this is a bowl but I did what I was told and just used a clean worktop...sift the flour and sugar onto the work surface and make a well in the middle.
  • Break the egg into the well, sprinkle in the salt and add a few tablespoons of the water.
  • Using a knife, start mixing everything together, adding more water as and when you need.
  • Finally use your hands to bring the dough together and knead for 4-5 minutes until shiny and springy.
  • Pop the dough in a bowl, cover with Clingfilm or a damp tea towel and set aside for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile stir the sugar into the berries and set aside.
  • When the hour is up, split the dough into two, to make it easier to handle, and roll to 3mm thick.
  • Cut rounds out of the dough using an 8cm cutter or an upturned glass of a similar size. Gather up the leftovers and reroll and cut until it is all used up. Do the same with the second half of dough.
  • Now fill each round with 4 or 5 berries and fold them in half to form a semicircle and pinch the join to seal.
  • Bring a big pan of water to a gentle boil and poach the pierogi in batches for 2-3 minutes, or until they float to the surface.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.
  • Last step is to fry the pierogi. Melt the butter in a heavy based frying pan, add the dumplings, in batches, with a dusting of caster sugar and fry each side until golden and caramelised.
  • Serve with an extra dusting of caster sugar and whipped double cream.
  • DON’T leave the kitchen or your headache will return.


  1. Hi Holly, I'm so pleased you tried these! This was my recipe for Delicious Magazine and they look beautiful. I love how you've used blackcurrants and yes, almost any fruit works well. Thank you for writing about them, I may link to you in one of my posts soon. Ren xx

  2. Link away...I would be honoured. xxxx P.S. I hope you noticed that I credited bloggy stealing here.