I love this time of year. With my tomato and pepper starts planted, my house is transformed from a deep winter bunker into a springtime botanical garden. The days are getting longer and my german-polish roots have me looking forward to Easter dinner and the pierogies that accompany that meal!
And yes, although I know I have my polish ancestors shaking their heads disapprovingly when I use the term “pierogies” (the plural of pierogi is pierogi and the singular actually pierog), I must admit the term gives me an acute nostalgia for my childhood.
While growing up, these were of course a gluten-full holiday entree. This year, I was excited to try my hand at making a gluten free version that rivaled my memories of my grandmother’s recipe. Her pierogies were stuffed with sauerkraut, fried onions or mashed potatoes mixed with cheese and onions. I’m pretty sure if faced with the, “if you could just take one food to a deserted island” question, my grandmother’s pierogies are exactly what I would choose.
Though my first batch turned out to be delicious, I had some casualties when my mashed potato filling leaked out when boiling. After some research, I stumbled upon this youtube video demonstrating the authentic pierogi sealing technique and went back over my seams about 3 times before I called them sealed!
I wasn’t sure just what kind of consistency I was going to get with the gluten free flour – my dough was fairly sticky to start, but it turned out to be very manageable. When kneading the dough, make sure to keep your hands floured until it gets easier to handle. When I was done kneading, the dough was relatively smooth and I set it aside rest.
After making the filling, I rolled out the dough to 1/4 in making sure to keep it moving and on a well floured surface. The dough was easy to work with and I cut out rounds using a quart mason jar with a wide mouth that I happened to have on hand. The diameter of the my initial round was smaller than 4 inches, but I had plenty of dough to work with when I rolled it out for the second time to 1/8 of an inch thick.
At first, I rolled my rounds into ovals, which worked fine, but I found that just keeping them round gave the same look of my grandmother’s. I also tried brushing the edges with butter and water to see if that would help them to stick together better, but found that the biggest help for that was in repeating the pinching process up to 3 times to get them to seal really well. Finally, boil and sauté the pierogies and serve with sour cream or more sautéed onions and enjoy!