Friday, January 20, 2012

Family Pierogies by Sarah

Ever have one of those family projects you've talked about doing for YEARS? Literally. Years. It's one of those things we talk about doing most family get-togethers with the adult grandkids and just never ever get around to actually scheduling.

My husband's family has been cooking pierogies during the winter (and to indulge out-of-town relatives in the summer) for as long as anyone can remember. With a Monday off as an excuse, and with my sister-in-law and cousin leading the charge, we made pierogies using the family recipe that's been passed down generation to generation.

The recipe is simple and super easy if you use a food processor or a stand mixer fitted with a dough blade. If you are a purist, Grandma used to mix by hand on her giant wooden cutting board. Rolling, cutting, and stuffing the pierogies takes a little finesse and a lot of time so we scheduled an afternoon of cooking and letting the kids run amok.

Dinner was fantastic and it was agreed that the pierogies were almost as good as Grandma's! (because could anyone ever make them as good as Grandma?!)

Family Pierogies

3 Cups Flour
2 Eggs
1 Cup Water

2 Cups (or so) Farmers Cheese
Sugar to taste

Add flour followed by eggs until combined. Grandma does this by hand; we used a stand mixer and food processor. Add water slowly checking consistency as you go. Dough should be dry and not too sticky to the touch.
Flour a clear work surface and rolling pin and roll out to desired thickness; Grandma's are pretty thin but held their shape without issue. Once they are rolled out to a consistent thickness cut into uniform two inch squares.

Using Grandma's special cutting board made the process more authentic.

Fill with a combination of farmers cheese and sugar - we used around two cups of farmers cheese with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. To fill, pick up a dough square and hold on the diagonal. I probably used half of a tablespoon of the farmers cheese for each pierogie. Put on half of dough, fold in half, and then pinch shut on all sides.
Grandma's storage trick is to line a tray or plate with the assembled pierogies and freeze for 15-20 minutes so they begin to get firm and then transfer to a storage bag to prevent from sticking together.

Aren't they cute? If you are cooking and enjoying the fruits of your labors now, add the assembled pierogies to a pot of salted boiling water for seven to ten minutes to cook through. Once finished cooking, mix with melted butter and enjoy with family. Be sure to tell stories about making pierogies as a kid with Grandma between bites.
This picture doesn't do them justice!

This project was a great excuse to have some family time and share a really special meal together. The kids (who are all under the age of eight) weren't into the pierogies, but I think in the coming years as they get older and can share stories they will grow to love them like we do!

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