Start by boiling the potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain well and mash while still hot until smooth. Set aside to cool completely. Start making the dough (see below) while you are waiting for the potatoes to cool.Combine with the grated cheddar, cream cheese, onion granules, season to taste and mash until smooth and creamy and the ingredients have been thoroughly incorporated. Adjust seasoning if needed.
To make the dough in a large bowl combine all the dough ingredients.Stir with a spoon until the mixture starts forming a dough.Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface (use no more than 1-2 teaspoons of flour) and continue kneading for 6 more minutes until smooth and soft. Cover with a bowl (so it doesn’t dry out) and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Once your dough has rested and you’ve made the filling make the dumplings.Start by making small filling balls (larger if you want to make larger perogies). Make a batch of these and set aside. Fill a large pot with salted water, cover and bring to the boil. Meanwhile start forming your first batch or perogies.
Divide the dough into 3-4 parts and roll out one part until approx. 2-3 mm thick. Make round shapes by pressing with a rim of a glass (6.5 cm/2.5 inch or larger). (Gather up leftover dough, combine with the rest of the dough and keep covered).
Place a filling ball in the middle of the dough circle and flatten a little. Ensure the filling doesn’t cover the edges. Pick up the dough circle and using your fingertips squeeze gently to form a crescent and bring the edges together. Press the edges together pushing the dough away from the edges using your pinky and removing any air bubbles. Go over the edge twice with your fingertips. Repeat this with each dumpling. Keep the perogies covered with a clean cloth on top of a floured surface. Once you’ve made your first batch of perogies the water should be boiling.
Carefully place the perogies one by one in the pot, stir gently using a wooden spoon so they don’t stick to the bottom or one another and increase the heat. (Do not overcrowd the pot). Stir again. Once they all come up to the top lower the heat and cook the perogies gently for 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat, lift the perogies out using a slotted spoon and place on top of a plate in a single layer. Coat the tops with a knob of butter and give a little shake to ensure the dumplings do not stick together. You can either serve these right away or fry in a little oil until golden brown first. Enjoy! You should get approx. 65 small perogies.
Potatoes: use Russets, Yukon Golds, Maris Piper or King Edwards.
Cheese: I used coloured mature cheddar but you can use extra mature for a more intense flavour if you prefer.
Dough: Keep it covered to prevent it from drying.
Perogies size: This depends on personal preference. I like to make small perogies so use a glass with a diameter of 6.5 cm (approx. 2.5 inches) but you can use a slightly bigger glass. But remember – the bigger the perogies the less of them you’ll be able to make. You should get approx. 65 small perogies.
How much filling to use in each dumpling: Generally the more the better but use however much you feel comfortable with. After all you need to be able to fully encase the filling in the dough (however, as the dough is quite stretchy you can probably use more filling than you think).
Be generous with the seasoning. Because you are working with only a handful of simple ingredients it is important to bring out their flavour with a good amount of salt and pepper. You don’t want bland tasting perogies.
I do not recommend making the dough or the filling in advance. So make sure you set aside a good couple of hours to make this recipe from start to finish.
Cook the perogies in batches using the same water. Top up with more fresh water and salt after every batch.
Serving: Enjoy hot with a little butter (if straight from the pot), sour cream, fried onions or fried bacon. If you make them ahead coat thoroughly with butter or oil and place in a large bowl. Keep leftover perogies refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days. Reheat either in a microwave or in the oven (covered).
To freeze raw perogies place in a single layer on top of a floured tray and freeze for 4 hours. Remove from the freezer and either place in a freezer bag or place portions of pierogi on top of small trays and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen (they will take a little longer to cook).
You can use this dough to make any pierogi recipe. My Polish pierogi ‘ruskie’ dough as well as this dough can be used interchangeably in any pierogi recipe.
Preparation time includes the time needed to prepare the potatoes.