I think the first time I ate homemade pierogies was when a classmate finished his speech on Polish immigrants, then our 7th grade class sat down to eat a Polish feast. The pierogies were buttery and oh so tasty… I didn’t eat them very often after that.
Every Saturday during college, my BFF and I would go to pierogi night at the student union… I liked mine boiled and dipped in sour cream, she liked hers fried and dipped in cheese.
Then one time I was at Hubster’s grandparents house and his Gram made gigantic pierogies, I couldn’t even finish one… It was a pillow of potatoes and cheese, way better than the Mrs. T’s ones served in college.
Hubster was the first-born grandchild in his family, and he calls his paternal grandmother Gram. All of the following grandchildren did not follow suit and they call her Meme. That means that Pumpkin, the first great-grandchild also calls her Meme. So sometimes these are called Gram’s Pierogies, other times they’re Meme’s Pierogies.
For seven years I’ve asked Gram for her pierogi recipe (Afterall, that IS why I chose to fall in love with my quarter Polish man). I always received an excuse or reason why I couldn’t have the recipe… yet. So we tried a new angle, Pumpkin asked her for it. He told her that he wanted me to make them for him on his birthday. Within two weeks she revealed her secrets. She made them his birthday weekend, and I finally made them today.
When she revealed the main ingredient of the filling as cottage cheese, I was hesitant at first. After all, every pierogi I’ve ever consumed consisted of a potato or cabbage filling. Once I made them, I sort of viewed them as Polish cheese raviolis. I did modify her recipe just a bit, and I used my Nanny’s Florida noodle dough recipe.
Nanny Florida’s Noodle Dough Ingredients:
4 c. flour, 4 eggs, 1/2 c. warm water, 1 tsp. fresh ground sea salt
Nanny Florida’s Noodle Dough Directions:
Mix salt into flour. Beat together eggs and 1/4 c. water. Mix egg mixture in with flour until a nice dough has formed. If mixture if too dry, add water 1 Tbsp. at a time. Cover and set aside for 1 hour. Working with 1/3 of dough at a time, roll dough out on a floured surface and cut to desired size and shape. I use a pasta press to get it thin enough.
Gram’s Pierogi Ingredients:
1 batch of noodle dough, 24 oz. small curd cottage cheese, 2 eggs, 2 c. chopped onion, 1 tsp. fresh ground sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, 1 stick of butter
Gram’s Pierogi Directions:
Beat eggs, and milk in salt and pepper. Mix together cheese, egg mixture and onions. Put in the fridge and allow to set for at least an hour. Bring a pot of water and some fresh ground sea salt to a boil. Grease two baking trays with butter and set aside. Spoon filling on noodle dough, fold over and use the prongs of a fork to pinch sides closed (I can’t find my dumpling press anywhere!). Drop pierogies into boiling water, stir once with a wooden spoon so they don’t stick. Pierogies will float when they are finished. Use a spoon to remove them from water (My Pampered Chef Scoop ‘N Drain is perfect for this). Place pierogies on baking tray and allow to cool. Just before serving, melt butter in a frying pan and brown pierogies on both sides.
I made several sizes, since Hubster likes his pierogies big enough to fill the plate. Boil large pierogies for about 5 minutes, medium for 4, and small for about 3.
After boiling, allow pierogies to cool completely. Place baking tray in freezer, making sure pierogies are not touching each other. Remove tray from freezer and place pierogies in an airtight container (I use my vacuüm sealer). Return to freezer to store.
I wanted to experiment with various filling, but Hubster vetoed each idea I had. Nest time, he just won’t get a say…
What’s cooking in your kitchen?