Of all the pierogi that New York has offered up to me over the years, it's the sweet cheese version that has really stolen my heart. It's tangy, creamy, sweet, and cheesy, straddling a line between savory and sweet, making it perfect to eat no matter the occasion. Here's how to make them at home.
Why this recipe works:
- A simple filling of sweetened farmer's cheese is a great balance of sweet and savory.
- Sour cream and butter added to traditional pierogi dough keeps the dough tender, light, and flaky as it fries.
Note: Pierogi can be made through step 5 and frozen for later use. To freeze, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in freezer until fully frozen, about 1 hour. Transfer pierogi to a zipper-lock freezer bag and store for up to 3 months. Cook directly from frozen as directed from step 5.
- For the Filling
- 1 pound Farmer's cheese
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten
- For the Dough
- 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 to 4 tablespoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (for water)
- 1 quart canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
- Sour cream for serving (optional)
- Applesauce for serving (optional)
- Caramelized onions for serving (optional)
To make the filling: Whisk together cheese and sugar in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust sweetness with more sugar as desired. Whisk in egg until thoroughly combined. Cover bowl and place filling in refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the dough: Place flour and salt in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until butter is broken into small clumps. Whisk together eggs and sour cream in a small bowl. With motor running, pour egg and sour cream mixture through feed tube. With motor still running, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough forms into a ball.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured counter and knead until it becomes smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a large sheet approximately 1/16-inch thick. Cut out rounds using 3-3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Remove excess dough, shape into a ball, re-roll, and wrap in plastic.
Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling in center of each round. Brush edges of round with water, fold over, and seal wrapper shut by pressing edges down with tines of a fork. Transfer to a tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with remaining dough and filling
Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in medium pot. Working in 4 to 5 batches, boil pierogi until dough is just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a wire mesh spider or slotted spoon, transfer pierogi to a colander set in the sink to drain.
After all pierogi have been boiled, drain pot and wipe dry. Add oil to pot and heat to 375°F. Adjust flame to maintain heat. Working in batches of 4 to 6 pierogi at a time, fry until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a wire mesh spider, transfer pierogi to a paper towel-lined tray to drain. Season with salt. Serve immediately with sour cream, applesauce, and/or caramelized onions.