Cherry Dumplings (Cherry ‘Vareniki’)

IMG_2707

Cherry Pierogies/Vareniki with Sweet Cream - authentic, sweet and delicious these bring me back right to my childhood!

In all the years that I have been married (not that it’s that many, but nevertheless) I have never made vareniki from scratch. I have an amazing grandpa who,  after my grandma died 3 years ago took over her hobby and started making vareniki and pel’meni for our whole family. We all love it! But one day, realizing that I have never done it myself I dug up my recipe book, that I as a 14-year-old that just came to America decided to put together, rewriting recipes from my mom’s recipe book, and found a recipe called “Lyuba’s Pelmeni Recipe”. I still remember how my mom raved about this recipe and how excited she was that her friend shared it with her.

Cherry Varenuki - by Let the Baking Begin

To those unfamiliar with the terms, vareniki (vuh-reh-nee-ky) and pelmeni (pehl’-meh-nee), they are Ukrainian stuffed pasta, just like ravioli or Chinese dumplings (dim sum). Vareniki can be stuffed with mashed potatoes and cheese, sauerkraut, cheese, cherries, strawberries, blueberries or anything else you can think of. Pelmeni on the other side, are always stuffed with meat (of any kind).

Cherry Varenuki - by Let the Baking Begin

The reason that I mentioned both in this post is because both can be made with the same dough. You make one dough, divide it and make it with different fillings of your choice .

Cherry Varenuki - by Let the Baking Begin

Make them savory for dinner or lunch, or sweet for a dessert.  No one complains in our house when we have dessert for dinner. How could they? These taste amazing!

Cherry Varenuki - by Let the Baking Begin Many people go cherry picking in the summer, and preserve the cherries just so that they can make cherry vareniki, all year round.

Cherry Varenuki - by Let the Baking Begin Vareniki or pelmeni make a great fast food because if you have some of these in your freezer, and they freeze well, you can have vareniki in probably 15 minutes (10 minutes to bring water to boil, 5 minutes to cook).Cherry Varenuki - by Let the Baking Begin

In fact, a lot of expecting moms stuff their freezers with vareniki, so that when the newborn’s hectic schedule interferes with your inner gourmet soul, you can still eat delicious food, without having to order takeout.

Cherry Varenuki - by Let the Baking Begin

 

This recipe makes about 120-140  pieces, which is probably enough for up to 10 people. If you don’t need that many, just freeze the rest, you will be glad you did, later.
Here’s how you make vareniki…

Cherry Dumplings (Cherry ‘Vareniki’)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 100 pcs

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick butter/margarine, room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour + 2 cups flour

To serve

  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Sugar

Filling

  • Tart Cherries, canned

Instructions

  1. In a bowl of a mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine milk, egg, butter/margarine, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Mix on low speeds until thoroughly combined. Add 2 more cups of flour and knead until a smooth dough, that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl forms.
  2. Let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour, at room temperature.
  3. Drain the cherries from the liquid over a colander.
  4. Dust a couple of rimmed baking sheets with flour. Set aside.
  5. Once the dough has rested, divide it into 4 equal parts and shape them into balls.
  6. Working with one dough ball at a time, roll it out with a rolling-pin until about 2 mm thin, dusting the surface with flour, to keep the dough from sticking to the table. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles, as close to each other as possible. Collect all the pieces around the circles and add them to the rest of the dough (keep the dough balls covered between use).
  7. Place 2 cherries in the middle of each circle. Working with one circle at a time, fold it in half, keeping the cherries from moistening the edges (this will keep them from forming a seal), and press the two edges together to form a half circle shaped dumpling. Place it onto the dusted baking sheet. Keep working with the rest of the dough circles and then move onto the next dough ball, until all dough and cherries are used.

To cook:

  1. In a large pot, over high heat, bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Working with about 30 vareniki at a time, drop them into the water, one at a time and mix with a spoon. Bring to a boil again and lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, after they float to the top or until soft and cooked though. Place 1-2 tablespoons butter into a serving dish. Remove vareniki from the water with a colander and into bowl with the butter. Shake the bowl to coat all vareniki with the butter and to keep them from sticking to each other. Let them sit for about 3-5 minutes, to cool slightly.
  2. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of sugar.

Notes

If this makes more then you can use at a time, freeze the rest on a flour dusted baking sheet, then put the vareniki in a ziplock bag, until next time.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving size: 15

Bon Appetit & Happy Pinning

Thank you for following me on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest!

Hashtag your photos #LetTheBakingBeginBlog so I can see your creations and for a chance to be featured!

Cherry Varenuki - by Let the Baking Begin IMG_2946


Web Counter

Bon Appetite!

Join 3,000 other food lovers enjoying weekly recipes.

Comments

Leave a comment

Rate this recipe:  

  • Irina

    Marinochka,
    I am amazed with your work. Its wonderful. You capture every little detail. What kind of cherries do you use? In cans? Frozen? What brand?
    Thank you.

    · Reply
    • Irina, Thank you so much for your sweet words! I appreciate you taking the time to comment! I love this stuff with all my heart and I really do hope that it shows in my posts.
      I use these kind of canned cherries –Zergut Pitted Sour Cherries in Light Syrup

      · Reply
  • Irina

    Thank you!
    I want to make some. These vareniki are my favorite. My grandma used to make them all the time. 🙂

    · Reply
    • You will love this recipe! This dough is such a pleasure to work with!

      · Reply
  • Oksana

    Hi Marina, what did you use when you made these? Butter or margarine? Salted or unsalted?

    · Reply
    • I never buy salted butter because it doesn’t give me control over how much salt i want to use. i try to stay away from margarine whenever i can, so i used unsalted butter for these 🙂

      · Reply
      • Oksana

        Thanks, you’re the best!

        · Reply
        • No problem, glad to help 🙂

          · Reply
  • […] up for your daily recommended doze. It’s great to use as filling for pastries, pirogees and (aka vareniki). I even know some pretty smart moms whose kids do not eat fresh cheese, so the moms generously […]

    · Reply
  • Kourtney

    Do you know if these can also be fried?

    · Reply
    • I have not done it, but don’t see why not. Others fry filled pasta all the time.

      · Reply
  • » Weekending: Jubilee Growing Up Savvy

    […] knew that we could always be generous and share them with my sister whose absolute favorite food is tart cherry vareniki. Sharing would still leave me with quite a bit and sure, we can turn into jam, preserves, conserves […]

    · Reply
  • […] home (which for me is Ukraine). Their tart-sweet taste makes them great in coffee cakes, muffins, cherry vareniki/pierogies as topping for cheesecakes, in cakes (like this Honeycomb Cake with Dulce de Leche […]

    · Reply
  • Tanya

    These turned out delicious! I did substitute 1 cup of milk with Whey, which I had left over from my cheese:) The dough was very easy to work with and soft when cooked. Thank you!

    · Reply
  • Michelle

    When I was 19 (almost 20 years ago). I went to Ukraine and lived with a family for the summer. The Mother’s name was also Lyuba and she made these for me with cherries we picked from their cherry tree in their yard. And they were amazing! I remember the sugar on top and sour cream as well. She made them a couple times for me and taught me how to make them. When I came home I made them for my family and I remember my mom didn’t really like them as much as I did and I think I made them once or twice since then and then for got about them. These look exactly like the ones we made oh so long ago! I am going to have to make them for my husband and kids and see if they like them! Do you have recipes of the savory versions? I would love to try the cheese and sauerkraut?

    · Reply

As seen in