Purple Pierogi Ruskie
Stuffed with Purple Potato & Farmer Cheese
Served with Purple Sour Cream
Caramelized Purple Onion
These meatless potato and cheese dumplings are known as pierogi ruskie, and while the flavor is classic, their color is certainly not!
In many Central and Eastern European countries, pierogi ruskie are usually stuffed with the traditional farmer cheese and russet potatoes. Farmer cheese is tasty tangy dry curd cheese with a perfect consistency for the filling. Here, baby purple potatoes, besides their striking color, have a rich earthy flavor and just the right texture when passed through a ricer.
Combine the farmer cheese and purple potato to make this dramatic magical-hued filling. Imagine your family and friends’ delight as they bite into a crispy chewy pierogi and discover a purple filling!
Let’s have some fun with our food! We deserve it…
How to Make Purple Pierogi Ruskie
Caramelized Purple (aka Red) Onion
- 1 lg. purple onion, sliced
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. butter
- 1 T. red wine vinegar diluted with 1 T. water
- kosher salt
Melt butter with olive oil in a large stainless steel pan. Add onion and cook over medium heat for about 50 minutes to an hour, stirring often with a wooden spoon until well-caramelized. Adjust the heat as necessary to cook the onion, but do not let it burn. Deglaze the pan with the diluted vinegar, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Season the caramelized onion with salt to taste.
Purple Potato and Farmer Cheese Filling
- approx. 250g baby purple potatoes, from Melissa’s Produce here
- approx. 150g farmer cheese, our favorite is Lifeway here
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and let cool to a slightly warm temperature. Run potatoes through a ricer. The skins will be left behind in the ricer. Discard the skins. Some of the potato will be stuck to the skin, which is fine because in the end we want about equal weights of potato and cheese.
Combine riced potato with farmer cheese. Season well with salt and pepper.
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 T. melted butter (not hot)
- 1 t. kosher salt
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
Place flour in a large mixing bowl. Mix sour cream, egg, butter and salt together in a medium bowl. Add sour cream mixture to flour and mix it all together by hand. The dough will be dry at first but will eventually come together into a nice somewhat smooth ball. Tip the ball onto a work surface and cover with the upside-down mixing bowl for 30 minutes.
To Form Purple Pierogi Ruskie
- egg wash
Use a bench scraper to divide the dough ball into 4 quarters. Take out one quarter leaving the remainder of the dough covered.
Roll out the dough on a Silpat mat into a thin rough rectangle, large enough to cut out 6 to 8 circles using a 3″ cookie cutter. Using Silpat makes rolling out the the dough very easy and no additional flour is needed to keep the dough from sticking. (You can use the dough scraps for another purpose, I made a quiche).
Compact the filling and form into a quenelle shape to fit on each circle of dough. Lightly brush the very edge of circle with egg wash. Fold the circle in half and stretch the dough around the potato mixture to make a plump little dumpling.
To seal the edges of the dumpling, crimp the dough with thumb and forefinger, starting in the middle of the crescent and working toward one corner, then repeat for the other corner.
To Cook Purple Pierogi Ruskie
Place dumplings on a Silpat mat, without touching and loosely covered with film, while composing the rest of the pierogi. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop pierogi one-by-one into water, cooking approximately a dozen at a time. Turn water down to a slow boil so as not to break up the dumplings and cook until they all float to the top. Once floating, cook for one more minute then remove from water with a slotted spoon. Place dumplings on a rimmed sheet pan without touching each other to prevent them from sticking together.
When all the batches of pierogi are cooked, add a generous amount of butter to a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Sauté the boiled pierogi in butter in batches to a crispy yet still slightly chewy golden brown.
Makes about 28 pierogi.
Method to prepare pierogi dough adapted from Casey Barber.
Purple Sour Cream
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 t. to 1 t. butterfly pea powder
- salt to taste
Mix sour cream with lemon juice. Blend in 1/2 t. butterfly pea powder, add more powder as necessary to get desired color. Season with salt. Garnish with herbs such as chives or dill.
Note: Blue Butterfly Pea Flower Powder also known as Blue Matcha, is made from petals of a flower indigenous to Thailand. It is a natural food coloring that is rich in antioxidants, with a mild taste and vibrant blue color. When mixed with lemon juice, the color turns purple. The amount used in the recipe does not affect the taste of the sour cream.
- caramelized purple onion, warmed
- purple sour cream
- lemons, sliced
- herbs such as chives and dill
Plate the butter-fried pierogi immediately either nestled in caramelized onion, or with onion on the side. Serve with sour cream, lemon, and herbs.
In a nod to the Old World recipe, I serve Pierogi Ruskie on Grandma’s vintage china.
More Tasty Farmer Cheese Recipes
Heavenly Farmer Cheese Blintzes here
Latkes with Farmer Cheese here