Prep Time: for the pasta: 10 minutes + resting time; for the filling: 5 minutes
Cook Time: for the varenyky: a few minutes; for the filling: 20 minutes
Keywords: boil pasta dessert vegetarian nut-free egg flour blueberries Ukrainian
Ingredients (28-30 varenyky)
- 1 tablespoon / 7 g unsweetened cocoa + 80 g all-purpose flour + more as needed OR
- 85 g / 3 ounces all-purpose flour + more as needed
- 1 large egg (weighing no less than 2.2 ounces / 62 g with the shell)
- 1 pound / 450 g fresh blueberries, preferably organic
- 1 tablespoon / 12 g ultra-fine or granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons / 21 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Powdered sugar, to taste (optional)
InstructionsHow to make the pasta dough
Weigh the flour in a bowl, then add the egg and mix into a cohesive dough, first with a fork and then with your hands. If making the cocoa version, stir that and the flour with a metal whisk until the cocoa is well dispersed before adding the egg.
Empty the bowl onto a kneading board (scraping the container well) and start kneading the dough with your hands.
Add a bit more flour if needed to obtain a dough that is not sticky, but should not feel hard when kneaded. Knead for 8-10 minutes, folding the dough on itself towards you and pushing it away from you with the heels of your hands in a fluid motion that should feel relaxed and meditative. Cover well (e.g., wrapped in plastic film), and let rest for about an hour.How to make the filling
Stem, rinse and drain the blueberries. Set aside 1/3 and place the rest in a saucepan. It is best to reserve the smallest blueberries, since they will remain whole and large blueberries make it more difficult to seal the varenyky. Sprinkle the sugar on top and stir. Cook over medium heat while stirring until the berries are surrounded by juice. This will take about 4 minutes.
Turn down the heat to low and simmer the blueberries for 15 minutes, stirring often for the first 10 minutes and constantly for the last 5 minutes. Fold in the raw blueberries. Remove the pan from the heat and let the blueberries cool before using.How to make the varenyky
Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces, flatten both with a rolling pin and then roll with a pasta machine until you are down to the last notch. Sprinkle the dough with a small amount of all-purpose flour as needed to prevent sticking. Note: While you want to make sure the dough does not stick to either the board or the rolling pin, avoid having too much flour on the surface where you will deposit the filling, because you need to make the border stick.
Cut the pasta into rounds with a 3-inch / 7.5 cm scalloped cookie cutter. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each round, fold it in half to form a half moon, and carefully press the border all around to seal the edge. In some versions of varenyky, the border is pleated as decoration, but I personally prefer the flat version. Using a scalloped cookie cutter means the border is not plain.
To prevent the dough from drying out while you work, roll half at a time and make sure you keep scraps covered, so you can re-roll and cut them. Fill the dough as you cut it so it doesn't dry. Place the completed varenyky on a floured plate.How to cook and dress the varenyky
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add some coarse salt and stir. Drop 1/3 of the varenyky into the water, making sure they don't crowd, and bring back to boiling. Cook the varenyky until done (3 minutes or so). The amount of time needed depends on a few factors, so the best way to handle this is to watch attentively and taste a corner.
While the first batch of varenyky is cooking, melt the butter in a ramekin and warm up the leftover blueberry filling on very gently heat. Keep warm while the varenyky cook.
When the varenyky are ready, drain them well with a strainer and drop them on a plate. Drizzle 1/3 of the melted butter, stir gently and keep warm while you cook the others. When all the varenyky are cooked and buttered, optionally dust them lightly with some powdered sugar, then distribute the leftover blueberry filling on them. Serve immediately.
Freeze the varenyky you won't cook. When you want to prepare them, drop the frozen varenyky into the boiling water and proceed with the cooking and dressing as above.