Growing up on the Prairies, Ukrainian food has always had a special place in my heart. Whether its the food, or perhaps the amazing people I’ve shared the food with, Ukrainian food has that something special for me.
The pierogi is probably the most popular and well known staple of Ukrainian cuisine. This versatile dumpling has filled the plates of families throughout the Prairies and beyond. The genius of the pierogi is how it has been adapted to suit personal and regional preferences. I decided to try my hand at adapting a recipe to a fruit that is becoming increasingly popular on the Prairies, the haskap.
Now, everyone knows that their Baba makes the best pierogies. However, for those who weren’t blessed with a Baba of their own, I have provided a dough recipe, but please use your own if you prefer.
Ingredients for dough
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt (plus more for cooking)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
Ingredients for Haskap Filling
- 4 cups of Haskaps
- 1/2 cup of sugar
Brown Sugar and Whipped Cream
Brown Sugar Sauce
- 6 tbsp butter
- 6 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon (Optional)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if mixing by hand), whisk together 1 cup warm water, 1/4 cup milk, 2 tbsp sour cream, 1 egg and 1 tsp salt until blended.
Add 2 cups flour and mix with a wooden spoon, or in a mixer with a dough hook. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, letting it incorporate before adding more. Mix and knead until the dough just doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. If its too sticky, keep adding flour, 1 tbsp at a time. Knead by hand for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, add the haskaps, coat in the sugar. Sprinkle a work surface with flour. Take half of the dough and roll it out till its about 1/8″ thick. Flipping the dough while rolling to help roll it out. Cut the dough into circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass with a 3″ rim.
Place a round of dough in the palm of your hand with the stickier side up. Add about 5 haskaps (estimate). Bring the edges together and pinch tightly to create a strong seal. Transfer finished pierogi to a floured board.
To cook, boil water with some salt. When water is boiling, add some pierogies, a few at a time. Once the pierogies float to the top, cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer then remove with a slotted spoon and place into a colander to drain.
Putting It All Together
To prepare the brown sugar and butter coating, place 6 tbsp of butter and 6 tbsp of brown sugar, and optional cinnamon, in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine. Scrap down edges of the pan to prevent sticking. Stir for about 3 mins or till the sauce starts to thicken. Pour over cooked pierogies.
For the whipped cream, add 1 cup of whipping cream to a bowl. Begin to whip. Add 2 tbsp, or to taste, of icing sugar. Add 1 tbsp of lemon zest, 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp of cinnamon, or to taste. Whip until it forms soft peaks.
When plating your pierogies, zest a lemon and sprinkle over pierogies.