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russian-vareniki-with-cottage-cheese

Vareniki with Cottage Cheese and Pumkin

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • cold water
  • 250 gram (2 cups) flour
  • 1 pinch salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

Instructions

For the dough:

  1. Crack egg into a cup and add oil.

  2. Add cold water to egg so that the total weight is 120 ml (1 egg should take up approximately 60 ml)

  3. Sift flour into a separate bowl and make a hole in the center. Pour egg mixture into the center.

  4. Mix the dough with a mixer for 10 minutes using dough hook.

  5.  When all the wet ingredients are mixed in and the dough forms a ball, place it on the table with the leftover flour.

  6. Knead the dough until it stops sticking to your hands. You might need to add a little more flour depending on its quality.

  7. Cover the dough and leave it to rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

  8. After resting the dough will become softer and easier to work with. Knead for a couple more minutes to get a uniform mixture. If after resting the dough still sticks to your hands, add a little more flour.

For the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Bake pumpkin for 40 min until the flesh is soft and the fork can be inserted easily.

  3. Cool down the pumpkin and scrape out the flesh. You will need ½ cup of pumpkin flesh for this recipe.

  4. Sift cottage cheese through a fine strainer.

  5. Mix 1 cup cottage cheese with ½ cup of pumpkin flesh. Add sugar and cinnamon and mix well.

Making vareniki:

  1. Cut a stripe of dough and roll it into a cylinder approximately 2 cm (1 inch) in diameter. Tip: keep the rest of the dough covered to prevent it from drying.

  2. Cut up the cylinder into 1 cm (0,5 inch) pieces and place it on the table dusted with flour.

  3. Take 1 piece at a time and roll it in between your fingers to make a round.

  4. Roll every round as thin as you can using a rolling pin. This part is tricky because you want it to be as thin as possible for better taste. But if you roll it too thin, the dough will break when you boil vareniki. There’s no way around but practice and more practice until you get the feel of what is perfect thickness.

  5. Place rounds of dough on top of each other to prevent them from drying. Before starting the process of making vareniki turn the stack upside down so that the first round you made is on top now.

  6. Hold the round in your left hand and place a tea spoon of filling with your right hand on the lower part of the round. Remove any excess filling.

  7. Place the upper part of the round on top of the filling and start sealing edges. Start from the center and work your way down one side, then the other side.

  8. You can seal the ends of vareniki together like I did, or you can leave them half-moon shaped which is how it is traditionally done in Russia.

  9. Place vareniki on a board dusted with flour and keep it in freezer.

Cooking vareniki:

  1. Fill a cooking pan with water and bring it to boil.

  2. Add salt (1 tsp of salt for each 1 liter of water).

  3. Place desired amount of vareniki into a pan. Tip: don’t give in to temptation of placing a lot at once. Keep it down to 25 pieces at a time. After you add vareniki to boiling water the water will cool down and you will need to wait for it to boil again.

  4. Mix vareniki carefully with a slotted spoon making sure none are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

  5. After vareniki come up to the surface of water cook it for another 3 minutes, then take it out using a slotted spoon.

  6. Serve immediately with sour cream. You can add some grated coconut and chopped nuts for decoration.