There is more than one recipe for varenyky dumplings on this website, if you are looking for some other recipe, try here: all dumplings recipes.
Varenyky with fresh cheese (perogies or vareniki or vareniky with fresh cheese) is one of the traditional Ukrainian dishes for dumplings. You will need fresh white cow milk cheese (quark) to prepare those, which can be a bit hard to find (try some east european store, if that is the case).
To your taste, you can make these dumplings sweet (by adding sugar to cheese) or savory (skip sugar in the filling all together); either kind will taste great with sour cream.
Prepared not boiled fresh cheese dumplings can be frozen up and boiled when you need them; which makes them perfect food for lunch. Boiled dumplings maybe be stored in a fridge and warmed up by frying with a bit of butter over moderate heat.
With described ingredients you will make about 55 dumplings.
About 6 cups of all purpose flour
- 1.5 cups of cold water
- 1 tbs of salt
1 lb of fresh white cheese (quark)
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 1 egg
- Salt to taste
How to prepare, step-by-step:
- Prepare ingredients:
- Let’s make dough first. You can find more detailed step-by-step guide on How to Prepare Dough for Dumplings in my previous post, in short words just follow the instructions: salt water and mix it all with some amount of flour, then keep adding flour till the moment dough stops sticking to the hands and knead it until it gets elastic (amount of dough you get really depends of amount of water you use, so if you want to prepare more – just increase amount of water and just keep adding flour); then cover dough with plastic and leave for 15-20 mins:
- Now it is turn for the filling. Mash fresh white cheese in a bowl with fork or potato masher. Add salt (I usually put about ½ of tbs), sugar to taste and an egg:
- Mix it good:
- Then let’s roll the dough. The most important part here is to roll it very-very thin and it may be hard to do. So take about ¼ of all dough (or even smaller), knead it several times on a floured wooden board, flour dough a bit if it keeps sticking to the hands. Then flatten it with your hands (don’t forget to cover rest of the dough with plastic again, to prevent it from drying):
- Flour rolling pin from each side and start rolling the dough from the middle to the sides with some force:
- Keep rolling dough from the middle to each side until it gets evenly very thin, if it is hard for you to get whole piece of dough thin – just do as thin as you can and then roll each “dough circle” once again before you fill it with cheese, just to make sure it is thin enough:
- Take thin side glass about 2.5 inch in diameter, dip it into flour for about ¼ of inch. Then cut rolled dough into circles with that glass:
- Remove the cut off dough (you may use it combined with next portion of the dough and roll again, if needed):
- These circles you got, you will use to make dumplings (“varenyky”), if you see the dough wasn’t rolled thin enough – just roll each circle with a rolling pin to make it thinner:
- To prepare dumpling: take one dough circle and arrange about teaspoon of the filling in the center of it:
- Fold circle in half:
- Stick opposite sides of the dough together with your fingers:
- Continue till the end:
- Then flour dumpling from each side:
- Repeat steps 5-15 for all dough and stuffing, stack prepared dumplings up on the floured wooden board (at this point you can choose either to proceed with the cooking or freeze dumplings up for later use):
- And by the way, often happen what you got some dough left when the filling is gone. Then you can choose to make some empty dumplings like the following, and just boil them with the rest (I loved those when I was a kid). To prepare those just get dough circle and pull opposite sides of it with your pointing finger and thumb towards each other until it forms a bow:
- Now it is a time to boil dumplings (you can boil dumplings frozen from before too). Fill a big cooking pot with water and bring to boil, salt to taste. Then put a portion of dumplings into the water:
- Let dumplings to boil until dumplings come to the surface (make sure water isn’t boiling too much), then boil for 2 more minutes and get them out of the water with skimmer:
- Put cooked dumplings into the bowl and smear with butter:
- Serve fresh cheese dumplings warm with a side of sour cream: