Ukrainian Blueberry Dumplings (Varenyky)

Blueberry Dumplings

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Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 21 mins
Rest Time: 30 mins
Total: 96 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 24 dumplings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
341 Calories
7g Fat
62g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 341
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 370mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 109mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Ukrainian dumplings, known as varenyky, is filled with fresh, ripe blueberries. They are similar to Polish pierogi.

Ukrainian filled dumplings that are boiled are known as varenyky. When the dough is made with yeast and the filled dumplings are baked, they are known as pyrohy.

For Ukrainians, a savory curd cheese filling is the national favorite, but others abound. A good varenyky should have a thin, tender dough. Some cooks claim cool water is the trick. But, really, it's all about years of practice. 

The filling used here is blueberry, but any of the fillings for naleśniki, pierogi, and uszka can be used.

"These varenyky were very good, and I especially liked the lightly spiced sweetened blueberry sauce. Make sure you pinch the edges firmly so they aren't too thick. I made round and square and I thought the square varenyky were a little easier to fold and shape." —Diana Rattray

blueberry varenyky (ukrainian dumplings)
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg, or 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup water, or more, as necessary

For the Blueberry Filling:

  • 2 cups blueberries, washed and stemmed

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brandy or kirsch, or lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Sauce and Serving:

  • Melted butter, for the cooked varenyky

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • Confectioners' sugar, for serving

  • Sour cream, for serving

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the dough ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add the egg and enough water to make a medium-soft dough.

  3. Knead in a stand mixer or by hand until smooth. But don't overwork the dough because it will become tough.

  4. Halve the dough and cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the Filling

  1. Gather the filling ingredients.

  2. In a medium saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, optional liquor or lemon juice and cinnamon and cook over low heat until blueberries come to a boil.

  3. Reduce heat, simmer 2 minutes and remove from heat. Set aside.

Rolling and Filling the Dough

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll one dough half 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cutter or a glass, cut out circles of dough. Remove scraps.

  2. Place a circle in the palm of your hand and, using a slotted spoon, place 3 or 4 blueberries on each round (leaving the sauce in the pan). 

  3. Fold the dough over to form a half-circle and press the edges together until well sealed and there is no air trapped in the dumpling, and the edges are free of filling.

  4. Alternatively, the dough can be cut into 2 1/2-inch squares, filled and folded into triangles.

  5. Place filled dumplings on a lightly floured surface and cover with a tea towel to prevent drying. Re-roll scraps and continue with remaining dough.

Cook the Varenyky

  1. Drop 6 varenyky at a time into boiling, salted water. Stir gently to separate and prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil rapidly for 3 to 4 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the varenyky and thickness of the dough.

  2. Varenyky are done when well puffed. Remove from water with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain well in a colander.

  3. Place in a shallow dish and coat generously with melted butter, tossing to prevent sticking. Cover and keep hot until all the varenyky are boiled.

Make the Sauce and Serve the Dumplings

  1. Gather the remaining ingredients.

  2. Make the blueberry sauce by adding cornstarch to the blueberry liquid left in the saucepan and heat over low until slightly thickened.

  3. Dust cooked varenyky with confectioners' sugar and serve with a dollop of sour cream. Drizzle blueberry sauce on the varenyky or pass in a small pitcher at the table.

Recipe Tips

  • After cutting out the dumplings, gather the scraps and form them into a ball; let the dough rest again before re-rolling.
  • Instead of rolling out sheets of dough, you may divide the dough into 24 uniform balls and roll each one to a 3-inch diameter. This avoids having to re-roll the scraps, which can become tough.

Recipe Variations

Feel free to use an egg-free dough for vegan varenyky.

How to Store and Freeze Varenyky

  • Refrigerate leftover varenyky and blueberry sauce in separate covered containers and eat within 3 to 4 days.
  • To freeze the cooked varenyky, arrange them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until frozen solid. Transfer them to zip-close freezer bags or containers and freeze for up to 3 months.