Blueberry Vareniki

Blueberry Vareniki-1-31What better way to start the month of June than with a recipe for Vareniki? My favorite Vareniki are hands down made with blueberries.  As you bite into the Vareniki, you get a burst of juice from the sweet and slightly tart berries. There is something so wonderful about the tender dough encased with sweet or savory fillings.

The best way that I can think to describe Vareniki is that they are a Russian version of ravioli, in their own unique way. We grew up eating all sorts of Vareniki. You can use the same dough to create both savory and sweet fillings. They are great because you can make huge batches of them and freeze them to make conveniently quick and satisfying dinners or treats later on down the road. In fact, making Vareniki is the most fun if you can make a party out of it and invite a bunch of your friends or family to come help you make them.

The dough that I am using in this particular recipe is not authentic in any way. If you’re interested in the authentic version, I can give that to you too, but let me tell you, I like this one a lot better. It’s SO much easier to work with and when you cook the vareniki, the thin dough cooks up to be so tender and fluffy. This version is using a pate a choux dough, or the same type of dough that you use to make cream puffs or eclairs. After spending years struggling to make the authentic Russian Vareniki dough, which took a lot of sweat and muscles, I then had to move on to the even more frustrating part, rolling out the very thin layers of dough. By the time we would finish making hundreds of Vareniki, my arms felt like they would fall off. With this dough, I hardly break a sweat. I hope you like it as much as we do:). 

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups all purpose flour

1 large egg

1 1/2 lbs blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

Instructions:

Blueberry Vareniki-1-16In a medium or large saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil. Blueberry Vareniki-1-17Add half of the flour and mix it vigorously with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated. At this point, you can transfer the dough to a standing mixer, or continue mixing it with a wooden spoon. If you’re using the standing mixer, start mixing the dough on medium low speed until you no longer see steam rising from the dough. Otherwise cool the dough for about 5 minutes and then add the egg, beating it lightly first, mixing until it’s completely incorporated. Blueberry Vareniki-1-18Add the remaining flour and keep mixing until you have a smooth dough. Blueberry Vareniki-1-19Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, so that it doesn’t dry out while you are rolling it out and shaping the vareniki.

The dough is a beauty to work with. I actually didn’t use any additional flour to roll it out and it didn’t stick to my counter at all.

Roll it out into a thin layer and then use a biscuit cutter, a cup or anything in the circle shape to cut out circles out of the dough. I have a pineapple can that my husband cut out the top and bottom off of and I use it often for projects like this one. It’s about 3 inches in diameter.

Blueberry Vareniki-1-21I prefer to use fresh blueberries when making vareniki, not frozen. You can also use other berries, like strawberries, raspberries, cherries or even plums, peaches, apricots, and of course, a sweet cheese filling (using farmer’s cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese with an egg, sugar and vanilla) is a well loved classic too.

The savory filling ingredients are just as numerous, so be as creative as you like. Potatoes, meat, cabbage, etc.

Blueberry Vareniki-1-20Place some blueberries into the middle of the circle and sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon on sugar on top of the blueberries. Blueberry Vareniki-1-23Fold it in half, pinching the edges tightly to seal, trying to get as much air out of the center as you can. Use a fork to seal the edges. I ended up with exactly 46 vareniki this particular time.

Blueberry Vareniki-1-24While I am shaping the vareniki, I keep the rest of them covered with plastic wrap so that they don’t dry out.

Blueberry Vareniki-1-25Usually when I am making vareniki, I make at least double the amount. They are kind of tedious to make, so I like to get a good yield of vareniki for all my hard work.

In that case, I freeze most of them and they are a great treat to have on hand. To freeze the vareniki, I line a large rimmed baking sheet or a large cutting board with parchment paper and place the vareniki on top of the parchment paper in one layer. Blueberry Vareniki-1-26Place them into the freezer for at least an hour, until they are completely frozen. Transfer the vareniki to a freezer bag or a sealed container and store in the freezer up to 6 months.

To cook the vareniki, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the vareniki to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the vareniki float to the top and are cooked through. Blueberry Vareniki-1-27This dough is very tender, so be careful not to overcook them. If you are using frozen vareniki, do NOT thaw them, just put them in the boiling water right away and cook them a little bit longer, 5-7 minutes, not more.

To serve, you can serve with a little bit of melted butter and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. You can also serve them with whipped cream, sweetened sour cream, maple syrup.Blueberry Vareniki-1-28

Blueberry Vareniki-1-31

Blueberry Vareniki
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 45 vareniki
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ lbs blueberries
  • ½ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. In a medium or large saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil.
  2. Add half of the flour and mix it vigorously with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated. At this point, you can transfer the dough to a standing mixer, or continue mixing it with a wooden spoon. If you're using the standing mixer, start mixing the dough on medium low speed until you no longer see steam rising from the dough. Otherwise cool the dough for about 5 minutes and then add the egg, mixing until it's completely incorporated.
  3. Add the remaining flour and keep mixing until you have a smooth dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, so that it doesn't dry out while you are rolling it out and shaping the vareniki.
  4. The dough is a beauty to work with. I actually didn't use any additional flour to roll it out and it didn't stick to my counter at all. Roll it out into a thin layer and then use a biscuit cutter, a cup or anything in the circle shape to cut out circles out of the dough. I have a pineapple can that my husband cut out the top and bottom off of and I use it often for projects like this one. It's about 3 inches in diameter.
  5. Place some blueberries into the middle of the circle and sprinkle about ½ teaspoon on sugar on top of the blueberries.
  6. Fold it in half, pinching the edges tightly to seal, trying to get as much air out of the center as you can. Use a fork to seal the edges. I ended up with exactly 46 vareniki this particular time.
  7. Usually when I am making vareniki, I make at least double the amount. They are kind of tedious to make, so I like to get a good yield of vareniki for all my hard work. In that case, I freeze most of them and they are a great treat to have on hand. To freeze the vareniki, I line a large rimmed baking sheet or a large cutting board with parchment paper and place the vareniki on top of the parchment paper in one layer. Place them into the freezer for at least an hour, until they are completely frozen. Transfer the vareniki to a freezer bag or a sealed container and store in the freezer up to 6 months.
  8. To cook the vareniki, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the vareniki to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the vareniki float to the top and are cooked through. This dough is very tender, so be careful not to overcook them. If you are using frozen vareniki, do NOT thaw them, just put them in the boiling water right away and cook them a little bit longer, 5-7 minutes, not more.
  9. To serve, you can serve with a little bit of melted butter and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. You can also serve them with whipped cream, sweetened sour cream, maple syrup.

29 Comments

  • Guzel

    Vareniki!! Wow, this brings back childhood memories. I remember eating them with cherries.
    Thank you Olga for bringing back old time favourite. 🙂

  • Christine

    Olga!
    You read my mind I’ve been wanting to make these for a few weeks now. I kept saying I have to find a recipe to make blueberry pierogies. This looks so good and when you gave details on the nice dough it makes me want to run to the store and buy the berries! Thank you so much!
    Christine

  • Becky T

    I have your site marked to check on a daily bases and the reason why is food like this! Love the information and the sharing of a heritage.

  • Liz

    These look so delicious! We bought an upright freezer for our basement last year so I can’t wait to try these and make extra to freeze for later! Thanks for posting.

  • Tzivia

    Wow omg these look really way good and so very yummmm gr8 that I can use any fruit and definitely farmers cheese mixed with fruit and sugar would work must try and so awesome that these freeze well hello freezer here I come thanx olya love your recipes gurl

  • Milana

    Wow!! Another great nostalgic recipe! These are so amazing.
    I have to make several batches: freeze some for later and eat the rest 😉
    Thank you!!!

  • iryna

    This use to be my Mom’s favorite vareniki. I’m glad somebody calls them vareniki because everyone here calls them perogies………which to me those are those piroshki. thank you for sharing.

  • Olya

    Hello, Olechka. I’m horrible with dough, but you’ve described this pecipe so easy to work with . Im sure, now I can nail Vareniki too! What about Pelmeni? Can I use this dough for Pelmeni?

      • Olya

        Yay!!! You’ve just saved my family)))) My boyfriend has been patiently waiting for Pelmeni for a while (just couple of years)))). But dough…ugggh, gets me intimidated! Thank you Olechka for your time and wonderful recipes!!!

  • Anna

    Thank you so much for the recipe. Have you tried making these with frozen blueberries? Or do you know if frozen once would work?

    • olgak7

      I really don’t recommend it, Anna. The frozen blueberries will become very watery as they cook and the vareniki will be much more likely to burst.

  • wanda

    Polish people are Slavic, in fact the Slavs are the largest ethnic group in Europe. To us Poles these little dumplings are pierogi
    though vereniki sounds charming too.

  • Olga

    Hi Olga,

    I tried a different recipe with cherries and the dough was not how I wanted it to be. So I made your version yesterday and it was just what I needed! Perfectly soft, and way to easy to work with! Though I tried these with blueberries and the berries seemed a little sour for me. So I will try this recipe with Cherries today. Another batch I will make. =) Thank you for the recipe!

    • Olga

      So I made em with cherries and it taste better! I did boil one blueberry too to taste the difference. The blueberry is def sour to me. Odd. But I do wonder, do you think this dough recipe needs sugar in it? I feel like it is missing that. I do sprinkle sugar on top of them when they are cooked and it helps. But I still feel like it needs more sugar. What do you think? Otherwise the dough is awsome! It feels like playdough and I didn’t even use any additional flour. And no big mess to clean up afterwards!

  • Valentina

    Hi Olga, had a question. I wanted to make vareniki with potatoes but don’t know what dough to use? I see you have vareniki with blueberries does it matter what you make it with? Is it sweet dough? And also I see you make pelmeni, is it fine if I use that tho to make vareniki? What do you suggest? Thank you!

  • Blueberry

    Hi Olga!
    Thanks for the recipe!! My husband is so picky about dough.. and this one was exactly what he wanted!!! He loved it! Thank you girl! 🙂

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.