Fruit Filled Pierogi

"Pierogi z Wisniami," from Dash of Vanilla, via Make It Like a Man! Fruit Filled Pierogi

featured image cred: Dash of Vanilla

Fruit Filled Pierogi is the 5th of a multi-part post on pierogi. To read it from the beginning, click here. This post contains recipes for fruit fillings. For other types of fillings, dough recipes, and instructions on rolling, filling, and cooking pierogi, click here.

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Berries Are among the Most Common Fruit Filled Pierogi

But the most traditional fruit filling for pierogi is plum. Many types of fruits will work. You’ll find a recipe below for strawberry that would work just as well with cherries, blueberries, or, in fact, just about any kind of berry. What makes berries so attractive as a filling is their size and texture. With the exception of the strawberry, which has been bred to a grotesque enormousness, it’s easy to seal whole berries in pierogi dough. Halved (or sliced, or diced) strawberries work, because they don’t produce a lot of juice right away. Pierogi don’t cook very long: a few minutes in water, a few minutes in a frying pan. Berries will break down sufficiently in this amount of time. Given these parameters, any kind of fruit that is manipulable, a quick-cook, and not too wet will work. How about chocolate pierogi with wild raspberry filling?

Strawberry Pierogi Filling

2 pints fresh strawberries
Sugar

Hull the berries. Cut each of them in half. Coat in sugar.

It’s that simple. However, there are a few caveats:

  1. "Strawberry Pierogi," from Tara's Multicultural Table, via Make It Like a Man! Fruit Filled PierogiI like to place the berry cut-side down on the round, and shape the Pierogi to it. If you want the Pierogi to look more traditional, of course you can dice the berries.
  2. Coat each berry-half with sugar individually, just before encasing it in dough. You don’t want them to start juicing until they’re already sealed inside the dough.
  3. That brings us to this: Some people like to produce a whole batch of raw pierogi, and then boil them. Other people like to boil as they go. They’ll stockpile maybe 6-10, and then place them in the boiling water as they continue producing more raw pierogi, multitasking. With strawberries, it’s best if you multitask. If you allow the berries to juice too long in raw dough, the liquid will weaken the dough and begin to seep through it.
  4. If you’re planning to freeze these pierogi, you can boil them as prescribed in the general directions. The strawberries will break down in the freezer, which will make them perfect for eating once they’re thawed and fried. If you’re not going to freeze them, though, add two minutes to the boiling time in order to cook the strawberries.
  5. You may want to serve these with something sweet. If it’s going to be sour cream, sweeten it. Or, serve them with soft-peak whipped cream or sweetened crème fraîche.

"Polish Chicago," from Joseph Zurawski, via Make It Like a Man! Fruit Filled Pierogi

Until I did the research associated with this post, I hadn’t heard of strawberry-filled pierogi. I’ve been told that in Poland, Pierogi are likely to be filled with just about anything imaginable. I’ve never been to Poland 🙁 but I do happen to live in the city with the greatest number of Polish-speaking persons outside of Warsaw: Chicago, which boasts five distinct Polish neighborhoods. Yup, there are more Polish speakers here than there are in Krakow. Also, jestem Amerykaninem polskiego pochodzenia, 2nd-generation, who grew up surrounded by Polish traditions, language, and foods … and especially pierogi. But never strawberry. I like them.

Plum Pierogi Filling

Fresh prune plums[1]
Sugar

Wash and pit plums. Add 1 tsp sugar to each plum before sealing. It’s that simple. Ultra-traditional.

Notes:

"Prune Plums," from Stark Bros., via Make It Like a Man! Fruit Pierogi

[1] Prune Plums: (Italian or French) aren’t easy to come by. My gradnparents used to have a tree in their back yard. Part of the problem with using a different kind of plum is sweetness and texture. Prune plums are sweet (when ripe) and dense. Then there’s the American obsession with size. The types of plums you commonly see in grocery stores (such as the Blackamber and Friar) have become the size of apples. There’s no way you’re encasing one of these in pierogi dough without expecting to produce something like a small pie. If you slice or dice them, you’re going to produce liquid that’s going to make your pierogi difficult to seal. Damn! Why can’t we be obsessed with flavor instead of enormity? A Damson plum will work, but will need more sugar.

See Also:

[1] Introduction: traditional Polish foods, pierogi serving size, spreading out the work
[2] How to Make Pierogi: Rolling, filling, and cooking
[3] Fillings, Part 1: Sauerkraut
[4] Fillings, Part 2: Potato
[5] Fillings, Part 3 : Fruit You Are Here
[6] Dough

Potato and Cheese Pierogi
Pierogi Dough

6 thoughts on “Fruit Filled Pierogi

  1. Can you offer scientific proof that berries are the most common fruit filling?

  2. Fruit-filled are my favorite. Thanks for this post. I liked the kind of all-encompassing nature of the series. Not sure if I know of anything else quite like it.

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